Fake News: Man Did NOT Sue Strip Club, Did NOT Contract Syphilis After Licking Dance Pole

Fact Check

  • by: Maarten Schenk
Fake News: Man Did NOT Sue Strip Club, Did NOT Contract Syphilis After Licking Dance Pole

Did 28-year-old Mike Little from Portland, Oregon contract syphilis after licking a stripper pole at a strip club and did he then sue the club? No, that's not true: the story was made up by a site that invents stories about bizarre crimes and sex acts for enterainment purposes. It is not real and did not happen.

The story originated from an article published on June 24, 2018 titled "Man sues strip club where he contracted syphilis after licking dance pole" (archived here) which opened:

PORTLAND, OR | A 28-year-old man who has contracted syphilis after licking a dance pole has filed a lawsuit against an Oregon strip club.
The Oregon Herald reported Thursday that Mike Litte, 28, is seeking $500,000 in damages from the Apollo strip club.

During the performance, one dancer apparently "squirted" on the dance pole, which Litte decided to lick before suffering from symptoms of syphilis days later.

"My client was not aware that the dancer had syphilis and that the content of her female ejaculation was contagious" Litte's lawyer, Andrew Smith, told reporters.

The man in the picture that illustrated the story is actually Adam Gray, a man who spent 24 years in prison for arson before being exonerated because there were problems with the evidence used to convict him:

Man sues over arson conviction after 24 years behind bars

A man who was sentenced to prison for a fatal fire is alleging in a lawsuit that Chicago police officers falsified evidence that kept him locked up for nearly a quarter century before he was released from prison last year after prosecutors decided to dismiss the charges.

In addition we were unable to locate any publication named The Oregon Herald that wrote about the story.

The website World News Daily Report is a well known satire website specialized in posting hoaxes and made up stories. The disclaimer on their website is pretty clear about that even though you have to scroll all the way down the page to find it:

World News Daily Report assumes all responsibility for the satirical nature of its articles and for the fictional nature of their content. All characters appearing in the articles in this website - even those based on real people - are entirely fictional and any resemblance between them and any person, living, dead or undead, is purely a miracle.

It is run by Janick Murray-Hall and Olivier Legault, who also run the satirical Journal de Mourréal, a satirical site spoofing the (real) Journal de Montéal. Very often their stories feature an image showing a random crazy mugshot found in a mugshot gallery on the internet or on a stock photo website superimposed over a background of flashing police lights or crime scene tape.

Articles from the site are frequently copied (sometimes even months or years later) by varous fake news websites that omit the satire disclaimer and present the information as real.

We wrote about worldnewsdailyreport.com before, here are our most recent articles that mention the site:

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  Maarten Schenk

Lead Stories co-founder Maarten Schenk is our resident expert on fake news and hoax websites. He likes to go beyond just debunking trending fake news stories and is endlessly fascinated by the dazzling variety of psychological and technical tricks used by the people and networks who intentionally spread made-up things on the internet.  He can often be found at conferences and events about fake news, disinformation and fact checking when he is not in his office in Belgium monitoring and tracking the latest fake article to go viral.

Read more about or contact Maarten Schenk

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