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The Photo Service That Said Taylor Swift Got Carried From Her Home in a “Huge Suitcase” Is Retracting Its Story

LOS ANGELES, CA - FEBRUARY 15: Singer Taylor Swift performs onstage during The 58th GRAMMY Awards at Staples Center on February 15, 2016 in Los Angeles, California. (Photo by Kevork Djansezian/Getty Images)

This morning, the internet received a tremendous gift in the form of a photo that purported to show two burly men transporting Taylor Swift “in a huge suitcase from her Tribeca apartment into her truck, in the trunk.” The image, and its vivid caption, came from Splash News, a celebrity photo service and newswire used across media. Now, we are sorry to report, Splash is retracting its claim that Taylor was inside that huge suitcase. “I literally just put the phone down from someone on Taylor’s camp,” a Splash representative said when contacted by SPIN this afternoon. “We’re having to actually retract that.”

It was good while it lasted.

The photo resonated because of its surreality, but also its weird plausibility. Swift is one of the biggest stars in the world, with a carefully managed public image and a team of paparazzi and gossip reporters who are clearly determined to cover her every move. Why not get into a big box if it means getting away from them? But how could Splash possibly have verified that she was inside?

Apparently, they didn’t. The Splash representative, who declined to be identified by name, said that the Swift shutterberg was “not really a regular photographer that we use,” and had made the claim about Taylor being inside the suitcase without personally verifying it. “The report stated it as a fact, which we actually don’t know,” he continued. “How could we?”

The representative pointed to a previously existing fan theory about Taylor entering and exiting her apartment inside of a box to avoid paparazzi, and suggested that the photographer assumed that the theory was true upon seeing the suitcase carried outside of her home.

“@taylorswift13 fans are theorizing that she’s been sneaking in and out of her NYC apartment IN THIS BOX!!! Stealth!,” Perez Hilton wrote in a May tweet that has since been deleted.

The Splash News representative said that the service would either retract the photo entirely or make an amendment to the caption. A representative of Swift’s camp declined to comment about the photo on the record.