Chrissy Teigen and John Legend become the latest targets of an internet hoax—and they’re fighting back

While most of America was resting in preparation for New Year’s Eve celebrations, Chrissy Teigen and John Legend became the latest targets in the long-debunked ‘pizzagate’ conspiracy theory.

Leading the charge was a Twitter account named @LizCrokin, belonging to an occasional contributor and previous writer for the tabloid National Enquirer by the same name. Her work consists almost exclusively of opinion pieces supporting Donald J. Trump; these range from an article claiming Robert Mueller—current Special Counsel charged with investigating the president for possible conspiracy with Russian officials—is secretly working with Trump in an elaborate scheme to jail Hillary Clinton and John Podesta, to stating Trump is personally responsible for any revelations regarding sexual abusers like Harvey Weinstein. As can be expected with many conspiracy theorists, she frequently accuses mainstream media outlets of perpetrating lies while she takes credit (or attributes to friends) for much of their investigative work. 

Crokin had originally started the conspiracy theory against Teigen and Legend on December 27th, a day after the couple had been stuck on a plane for eight hours as it left Los Angeles to head towards Tokyo but turned around halfway through the flight. Last night, Teigen sent out screenshots from a deluge of Twitter replies accusing her of various things, all kicked off by Crokin.

(Editor’s Note: Chrissy Teigen has set her Twitter account to private since this article was published; tweets embedded from her account may not appear.)

The replies to Crokin’s initial tweet contained a wide array of nonsensical conspiracies. They alleged Teigen is a brainwashed subject of MKULTRA (an attempted mind-control program utilizing drugs, operated by the US Government from the early 1950s through 1973—12 years before Teigen was born), that Teigen and Legend are both secretly transgender people pushing an agenda to unravel the United States, and implications of Teigen herself being the cause for the plane turning around the previous day. 

But the worst of the tweets all reiterate Crokin’s now-deleted (but luckily archived) tweet; the blatant lie Teigen and Legend are abusing their child and part of a secret, pizza-related child trafficking ring.

A quick summary for those unaware: the conspiracy theory equating pizza to child trafficking arose from a pro-Trump forum on Reddit, and was created from thin air. John Podesta’s emails, leaked as part of Wikileaks’ constant attacks on Hillary Clinton during the 2016 election, included mentions of a pizza parlor in Washington, D.C., one he apparently visited a few times. From this single irrelevant data point, countless pages of conspiracies were drawn up to claim dozens of people working for the Democratic National Committee were part of a child trafficking ring. What connected all of these people? Any emails containing the word pizza, or any mention of children. Seriously. The conspiracy even included a mother emailing to tell someone her children would be at her house for the weekend—and that was enough for thousands of users to harass her. 

As conspiracies never die, Crokin has made a living via PayPal donations and page views on her website from people so committed to supporting Donald Trump that they’ll give money to anyone willing to smear his critics. View her Twitter page, and you’ll find tweets alleging pedophilia or a similar crime against almost every person to ever speak negatively of the president. So, undoubtedly, it was only a matter of time until Crokin targeted Teigen.

Once Teigen had tweeted out screenshots of the accusations made by Crokin and her followers, it would seem Crokin realized the trouble she might be in—or, the moment may have come hours later when Legend threatened a lawsuit.

Sometime between Teigen’s tweeting of screenshots, Twitter removing Crokin’s verification checkmark they had inexplicably awarded her, and Legend’s ultimatum, Crokin deleted her original tweet about the couple’s daughter. 

Then, after she believed she had covered her tracks by removing her tweet against the couple’s child, she attempted to reframe the situation by claiming the only reason Teigen and Legend were upset with her is because they wanted to cover up sexual abuse happening in Hollywood circles.

She didn’t give up; next, she tried to justify her accusation by telling Teigen “hot dogs & pizza are code words” for child trafficking. 

Still failing to lessen the possibility of a slander suit—and unwilling to disappoint her fans by admitting she made a mistake—Crokin doubled-down with a tweet stating Teigen and Legend were friends with rapists, again trying to reframe the situation so she herself would be painted as a victim.

Seeming to finally realize she’d dug a hole too deep to come back from, Crokin walked back her initial claims slightly by saying she didn’t necessarily mean Teigen is a pedophile.

Of course, the tweets Crokin helped through retweets and likes showed a crack in her facade, as she engaged positively with people who still carried the torch for her original conspiracy theory.

When morning came, Teigen issued the final takedown: she’s going to take Liz Crokin to court for the libel against her family. 

Crokin, two hours later, hadn’t responded; instead, the last tweet sent from her account at the time of this writing were screenshots of a private message she claims contain proof from a detective that the Clinton family is—you guessed it!—part of a child trafficking ring. (It’s unfortunate she never had the same outrage when it came to Roy Moore.)

Hopefully, we’ll see Crokin’s accounts on both Twitter and PayPal suspended in the next few days, and news making Teigen and Legend’s lawsuit threats official. In the meantime, if Liz Crokin is looking for the next investigation, we here at Amala Network have a hot tip. It seems another celebrity figure has mentioned that dastardly word ‘pizza’ before, which Crokin’s own rules would suggest indicates participation in child trafficking. 

And it just so turns out, Crokin may have a close relationship with a direct lead on this one!

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