Justin Bieber fans were surprised to learn on the weekend that the pop sensation had come out, at least until the news was revealed to be a hoax.
On Saturday, E Online reported on Twitter: “Breaking! Exclusive: Justin Bieber to E!online ‘I’m a gay.’”
It also stated that the star was being backed by his on-again, off-again girlfriend: “Exclusive: Selena Gomez tells E! she will fully supporting Justin in his coming out.”
Another follow-up tweet read: “E! News Breaking: Justin Bieber arrested in Dubai due to false tweets with him coming out situation developing.”
The 19-year-old singer, who is set to perform in South Africa this week, was touring Dubai, where homosexuality is illegal, at the time.
It later turned out that the E Online Twitter account had been hacked by a group called the Syrian Electronic Army, which posted the false reports.
E! said in a statement: “E online’s breaking news Twitter and SMS accounts were compromised today. We’re working to have this resolved as quickly as possible and are fully investigating the incident. We apologize for any confusion that the erroneous news alerts may have caused.”
Bieber was also in the headlines this weekend after a male fan managed to run on stage during his show in Dubai on Sunday and grabbed the star while he was playing the piano.
A security guard tackled the fan in response, causing the piano to fall over. Bieber was able to continue with the show while the fan was removed off stage.
Bieber will perform in Cape Town on Wednesday and in Johannesburg on Sunday.
Watch below as Bieber is attacked by the fan at Sunday’s concert.