People.com reported today what I’d always known to be true: Rappers, and superstar musicians and producers generally, are too self-satisfied to take their own lives. When news surfaced online that rapper and producer mogul Timbaland may have tried to commit suicide, I thought the same thing that Timbaland told Ryan Seacrest Wednesday morning on his KIIS radio show: “Why would I commit suicide?” Even though an alleged $2 million dollar watch (or something else, according to Timbaland) went missing from the rap impresario’s Malibu home, that’s still no reason to want to take your own life, right?
What Happened? According to the reconfiguring of events from People.com, Timbaland was alleged to have left his house in a huff “and wanted to harm himself after someone reportedly stole a $2 million watch from his collection.” Then family got involved: “According to the Malibu Lost Hills Sherriff’s Department…his wife, mother-in-law and friends were unable to find him and were under the impression he had taken some medication before driving off.”
Of course, fear leads to speculation, leads to rumor, leads to further speculation, leads to phone calls, leads to e-mail reports, leads to…suicide? We all know how messages can get mixed and lost when passed around the olive tree, but that seems to be what happened here; a plainspoken case of tin-can-and-string gone haywire.
Leave it to the man to set the record straight. When Timbaland spoke to Ryan Seacrest he said, “I don’t even know what happened, to be honest.” While the intense media scrutiny and obsessive fan speculation can lead to all manner of misreading of the facts, this just seems to take the cake. Timbaland did allude to something else saying, “Something did happen (confirming that he was robbed). It wasn’t a watch [that was stolen]. It was something else…” and he “…took a drive to figure out how I’m going to handle it. I don’t know what people are talking about. Why would I commit suicide?”
Other Fake Suicides:
Tila Tequila has had her brushes with death in the past. According to reports from RadarOnline.com as recently as July 2010, Tequila was “rushed to the hospital for psychological rescue.” Tequila had posted some “disturbing images” on her website, though the jury is out on whether or not this attempt was real. In October 2009, Zach Braff allegedly had committed suicide but it was found to be just a hoax from some bored web designer looking for hits.
While the long range of the Timbaland suicide fiasco will remain to be seen, this is not something which will harm his career. Timbaland is a young, successful, popular producer with no real public bones to pick with anyone, or at least it seems. Even still, even if his whole fortune was looted and he were left with nothing, that’s still no reason to take your own life. Timbaland knows it, Zach Braff knows it, (we think) Tila Tequila knows it, and so it goes. But if bored web designers or bored paparazzi are going to make things up, start rumors, or get people all riled up over their favorite celebrity doing X, Y, or Z, there need to be stiffer penalties for folks who enter into the public sphere of the online world and start making up rumors.
It’s just not all that funny when you’re talking about suicide.