Noted actor Tom Hanks, who converted to the Greek Orthodox Church in 1988 when he married his wife of Greek background, actress and singer Rita Wilson, have accused a company called Hellenic Institute of Cultural Diplomacy (HICD) of fraud for using his name to lure ticket buyers for an event he said he knows nothing about.
The company, which has offices in Athens, is selling tickets for an Oct. 7 event where it said Hanks would he honored for his work but Wilson said Hanks never signed or agreed to be in any way involved in HICD or the event they promote.
“Stop HICD from misrepresenting. This is fraud…Tom Hanks isn’t appearing at this or any events in Greece. (He) Was never asked,” she tweeted.
Wilson tweeted what appeared to be an invitation by the HICD which claimed Hanks would be celebrated for “his lifetime achievements, his philhellenism and his film production ‘Mamma Mia,’ which promotes Greece as an ideal tourist destination.”
It also claimed US Ambassador to Greece, Geoffrey Pyatt, would deliver “welcome remarks.”
In his own tweet, Hanks said the organizers are falsely using his name to attract attention.
“To my friends in Greece. Someone is claiming that I am appearing at an event in Athens which is not and has never been true. Tickets are being sold with the promise of my presence,” he wrote.
“I have never talked to anyone about possibly attending this event and those people who are organizing it are not being truthful about their contact with me. Please do not be fooled.”
The Stavros Niarchos Foundation Cultural Centre, where the event would supposedly be held, suggested it was a scam. “As the SNFCC stated earlier, the news of Mr. Tom Hanks being awarded by the SNFCC is a hoax,” it tweeted.
“We were surprised to read in recent press article and posts, as well as via Ms. Rita Wilson’s tweet, about an upcoming award ceremony honoring actor Tom Hanks that is allegedly being organized by the Stavros Niarchos Foundation Cultural Center. We would like to refute categorically this information which clearly falls into the category of fake news,” SNFCC said in a post on its Facebook page.
“In addition, we would like to clarify that we have never made an announcement that would confirm such press coverage, as this has been inaccurately reported. Of course, this announcement has nothing to do with our respect to this great actor and his contribution to culture,” it added.