The hoax picked up steam after the website eBuzzd posted an article stating Chumlee had passed away at age 31 from a heart attack.
The post read:
“Austin Russell, also known as Chumlee, star of History’s reality series ‘Pawn Stars,’ has died from an apparent heart attack, sources confirm to eBuzzd. He was only 31 years old. The news comes as a shock considering Chumlee had just recently altered his lifestyle habits.”
Chumlee’s extreme weight loss is thought to be what spurred the hoax, but Rick Harrison, Chumlee’s boss and co-star of the show tweeted, “He is 101 pounds down and in the best health of his life!”