Hollywood Unlocked founder Jason Lee under fire after standing by Queen's death story

Jason Lee's blog Hollywood Unlocked published a story claiming that Queen Elizabeth II had died.
Jason Lee's blog Hollywood Unlocked published a story claiming that Queen Elizabeth II had died. Photo credit: Instagram/@theonlyjasonlee, Getty Images

The founder of the US blog Hollywood Unlocked is under fire after he stood by his story that Queen Elizabeth II had died, claiming an apology issued by the blog was fake. 

On Tuesday (local time), the blog - known for its pop culture news - published an "exclusive" story claiming sources close to the royals had notified them that the Queen had passed away at 95 after contracting COVID-19.

"It is with our deepest regret to inform you that Britain's Queen Elizabeth has died," Hollywood Unlocked wrote. "She was scheduled to attend the wedding of British Vogue editor Edward Enninful, but was found dead."

Despite reports that the Queen is still very much alive, Hollywood Unlocked founder Jason Lee has refused to retract the story, saying the blog "doesn't post lies" and is waiting for an official statement from Buckingham Palace.

However, a Twitter account posing as the outlet shared its apologies in a since-deleted tweet on Wednesday, claiming it was an "embarrassing situation".

"It was an accident and we're working hard to make sure that this mistake never happens again," the tweet said, as reported by the Independent. "The intern journalist was misinformed and published the draft post by mistake."

However, Lee was quick to deny the authenticity of the apology.

"Woke up to some fake account posting a retraction," he tweeted. "We do not know that account and we have not retracted our story."

It may have been better if Lee accepted the apology as his own as the blogger is now in hot water with Twitter users, many of whom are proving his allegations are false.

"This is a terrible mistake and I have no idea what you think you're doing," one user tweeted.

"If you ever did research in your life you would know that there is literally a protocol in place for when a member of the royal family dies," another user said.

Since the publication of Lee's story, it has been reported that the Queen has still been speaking with UK Prime Minister Boris Johnson during their weekly telephone call.

"How's that working out for you mate?" one user joked.

"I'm literally in the UK. When the Monarch passes on overnight, it's announced to the public the next day via BBC at either 8am or 12 noon. As it's now 3:10pm in the UK, I can confirm that you're wrong," another user claims.

The Queen tested positive for COVID-19 on Monday. The Palace has said she is fully vaccinated and experiencing mild cold-like symptoms.