It was a great story: One of Brazil’s most popular singers performed at a bar mitzvah in Israel.
Too bad it turned out not to be true.
But in the several hours it took UOL, a Brazilian news portal, to retract its report, several other outlets already had repeated it.
According to the retracted story, singer-songwriter Anitta earned $200,000 to perform at the Masada bar mitzvah of Moise Safra, a grand-nephew of the banker and philanthropist Joseph Safra, Brazil’s richest person and the world’s 31st richest in 2019, with a net worth of $25.2 billion, according to Forbes.
The reporter justified the so-called scoop by writing that the family had asked Anitta not to photograph and record her performance.
Anitta is one of Brazil’s biggest pop stars, with more than 3.5 billion views on YouTube and more than 40 million followers on Instagram. In 2017, Billboard named her the 15th most influential artist in the world on social networks.
But she did not go to Israel for the bar mitzvah and she did not sing there.
She hasn’t said anything about the rumor.
Actual bar mitzvah guests reported that the Safra family picked up their travel expenses, including the airfare between Sao Paulo and Tel Aviv and lodging. The cost of the entire event reportedly topped $3 million.