As the status of actress Natasha Richardson’s condition following a ski accident on Monday in Canada remains unconfirmed, several media outlets remain conflicted on how to report this breaking news situation.
The relatively unknown Web site IrishCentral.com was the first to report the news of her accident on Monday.
Later Monday evening, a rep for the film “Chloe,” which was being shot by Richardson’s husband, Liam Neeson, in Toronto, confirmed to Canadian Televsion that, in fact, Liam had left the set to be with his wife.
At around 1 PM ET Tuesday morning, Time Out New York published an article saying Richardson was dead, with the headline “RIP Natasha Richardson 1963 – 2009.” The story then got considerably more pick-up when popular gossip blog Perez Hilton picked up TONY’s report.
TONY’s site then crashed from the traffic to their story. When the site ended up back online, they said that they were, in fact, incorrect, and that Richardson was not dead, but rather “brain dead.”
“Time Out New York sincerely apologizes for the confusion,” they wrote. “We stand by our sources, and our friend of the family first confirmed ‘dead’ and then called back to say ‘brain dead.’ We find the situation incredibly tragic and obviously wish to only report the facts. We stand by our new statement that she is brain dead and not expected to survive. Unfortunately, the article was not taken down — our website crashed from traffic. Time Out New York regrets the error.”
Perez Hilton then posted a story based on TONY’s correction.
At 1:19 PM ET the New York Post’s Broadway columnist Michael Riedel corroborated TONY’s story that Richardson is, in fact, brain dead.
Late Tuesday afternoon, OK! sent out a press release reporting that Richardson has been taken off of life support and is now dead. OK! posted this story to their Web site, and then later removed it.
At Access Hollywood, we have not yet been able to confirm, at the time of publication of this article, the status of Natasha Richardson’s condition.
Richardson’s family is expected to release a statement on Wednesday, a spokesperson for the the Sacre-Coeur Hospital in Montreal told Canada’s CBC.
We have reached out to both her publicist, and Liam Neeson’s publicist; neither of who have any status updates as to how the family is doing.
Access will continue to keep you posted on the status of this story.