According to E!, the 32-year-old actress posted a photo on her IG story featuring a collage of photos of her son, 8-year-old Luca Cruz. Of them, fans were fixated on one photo of Cruz laying on his back naked with white paint on his stomach, spreading a rumour that the former Disney star was trafficking her own child.
Duff has since deleted the post and re-uploaded a video of photo memories of her and Cruz with the photo in question censored. And, then took to Twitter to call out everyone who spread the absurd and harmful conspiracy theory.
“Everyone bored as f**k right now I know… but this is actually disgusting,” she tweeted in response to the accusations that she was exploiting her own son. “Whoever dreamed this one up and put this garbage into the universe should take a break from their damn phone. Maybe get a hobby.”
The original post behind the theory has since been deleted but the harm it can do to Duff and the mental health of people who’ve experienced something traumatic like abuse in their life has no expiry date.
Child trafficking, which refers to the illegal transport and transfer of people under the age of 18 years old, is a serious offence. Children who are trafficked and kidnapped are often victim to slavery, forced labour and exploitation, and according to a United Nations Office on Drug and Crime (UNODC) report in 2016, at least a third of trafficking cases are children and 71 percent of all trafficking cases are women and girls.
So, we don’t need to remind you that joking around and claiming that Hilary Duff is committing child trafficking with her own son is not only not cool but extremely hurtful and disrespectful to her and victims of child trafficking.
“Let me say this in the strongest terms, this is all a fabricated disgusting internet lie, created and perpetuated by trolls and idiots,” a representative of Duff told E!. “Hilary’s own post this morning is all that needs to be said on the matter.”
“Everyone who knows Hilary is fully aware what an amazing Mum she is and that requires no further comment. If only people with this much time on their hands used their energy to solve real problems in the world.”
Again we can’t believe we have to say it but, for the people in the back row of the class, listen up: Hilary Duff did not commit child trafficking with her own son and accusing her out of spite is incredibly not on.
In other Duff news, earlier this year, the actress told fans on Instagram that if the upcoming Lizzie McGuire reboot is going to be “real and relatable,” and cover topics like sex and relationships, it needs to be on Hulu (a streaming service in the U.S.) instead of Disney Plus.