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A press release claiming McGrath was shot on the set of the Adult Swim series Hot Package turned out to be a hoax

By Tara Fowler
Updated December 01, 2020 09:43 PM
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Credit: Charley Gallay/NBCU Photo Bank/Getty

No, Mark McGrath is not dead, despite an Internet hoax claiming he was shot to death.

“Final word on the death hoax thing,” the singer Tweeted Thursday afternoon after a rumor spread that he’d been killed in dramatic fashion on the set of his TV series. “I knew nothing about it and found out the same time you did sorry about any confusion.”

On Thursday morning, a press release claiming the former Sugar Ray frontman and Don’t Forget the Lyrics host had died was sent widely to various media outlets from an email address linked to a Los Angeles-based public relations firm.

But the death turned out to be a hoax, PEOPLE confirmed Thursday morning, and McGrath had a sense of humor about it, retweeting a follower who wrote: “Thats cool you arent dead and stuff, but I had you in my Celebrity death pool and now I am out 8 bux, bastard!”

The release claimed that McGrath, 46, had been fatally shot by a masked gunman on the Hollywood set of the Adult Swim show Hot Package – which coincidentally enough premieres early on Friday at 12:30 a.m.

“In honor of Mr. McGrath’s legacy, his team is asking in lieu of flowers, fans post a Sugar Ray selfie, holding a packet of sugar over their heart,” the release read.

It also said McGrath died in the arms of show host Derrick Beckles.

An Adult Swim spokesperson denied involvement in the hoax in a statement. “This press release did not come from Adult Swim and is not part of any network PR or marketing campaign for the show Hot Package,” the statement read.

McGrath is married to Carin Kingsland, whom he wed in 2012. The couple have two children together, twins Lydon Edward and Hartley Grace.

On thursday evening, the PR company that sent out the original release followed up with a statement saying: “Please be advised that Mark McGrath and his team have had no involvement in or knowledge of the media alerts sent earlier this morning. Mr. McGrath is a guest on the show, and his death is merely a plot line in the premiere episode. PRISMATICS take full responsibility for any confusion.”

Reporting by LANFORD BEARD