Idris Elba and his wife Sabrina have both tested positive for COVID-19

By Eric Todisco
March 25, 2020 01:30 PM

Idris Elba is pushing back on the conspiracy theory that he and other celebrities are being paid to claim they have the novel coronavirus.

The Hobbs & Shaw actor went live on Instagram Tuesday with his wife Sabrina Dhowre Elba — who has also tested positive for COVID-19 — to debunk rumors, calling it “such stupidness.”

“The idea that someone like myself is gonna be be paid to say I’ve got coronavirus, that’s like absolute bulls—,” Elba, 47, said.

“Such stupidness. And people want to spread that as if it’s like news,” the actor went on. “That’s stupid and it’s the quickest way to get people sick because there is no benefit to me and Sabrina sitting here saying we’ve got it. I don’t even understand the logic in that.”

“We’re stuck inside,” Dhowre, 30, added.

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While Elba did not refer to Cardi B. in his Instagram live, the “I Like It” rapper recently drew attention to the conspiracy theory in her own Instagram Live post several days prior.

“Let’s say if I have the coronavirus right now. How am I supposed to know I got it because sometimes I be like, ‘If y’all have a cough, you have it,’” Cardi, 27, said. “But then I be seeing these basketball players say like, ‘Yeah, I have the coronavirus, but I don’t got no symptoms.’ So how the f— am I supposed to know when I’m supposed to get tested for it?”

The rapper continued, “I’m starting to feel like ya’ll n— is paying n— to say that they got it, and if you are paying n— to say that they got it, pay me too!”

Cardi B.
Aaron J. Thornton/Getty

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Elba and Dhowre have both been quarantined together in New Mexico since they each announced their COVID-19 diagnosis.

Last week, the couple sat down remotely with Oprah Winfrey for the first episode of her new Apple TV+series “Oprah Talks COVID-19,” where Dhowre said that like her husband, she has not been experiencing symptoms of the virus.

“We’re in a high altitude it could be that I’m confusing seasonal allergies as maybe symptoms but I don’t feel anything that would come to what people would now expect to be a symptom of coronavirus, which is very strange,” she said.

“It might change in the coming weeks and we’ll keep everyone updated. But It is worrisome that we’re both sitting here, two people and everyone that we know that we’ve been in contact with, all asymptomatic,” she added. “It’s a little bit worrisome.”

As information about the coronavirus pandemic rapidly changes, PEOPLE is committed to providing the most recent data in our coverage. Some of the information in this story may have changed after publication. For the latest on COVID-19, readers are encouraged to use online resources from CDC, WHO, and local public health departments and visit our coronavirus hub.

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