Chumlee Not Dead: Austin Russell Says He ‘Woke up with 15 Text Messages,’ And Hasn’t Died

March 17, 2014 Updated: July 18, 2015

Chumlee of “Pawn Stars” said that he’s doing well amid a rumor that went viral saying he died.

The rumor originated from a fake TMZ-lookalike website and another hoax news website called eBuzzd. The website also said that actress and comedian Betty White died–which is also false–and that Wayne Knight, who played Newman on “Seinfeld,” died–fake as well.

According to the Las Vegas Review-Journal, he said he’s doing well. 

“It’s the healthiest I’ve ever been. It’s been a long road and I’m so proud of myself,” said Russell. “I woke up with 15 missed text messages,” he said.

He sent text messages to his sister and mother “to let ’em (know) I’m still alive.”

Chumlee was retweeting as of Sunday night. On Saturday, he asked: “What’s your snap chat,” apparently to all of his 190,000 followers.

“.@chumlee_ is ALIVE & WELL! He is 101 lbs down & in the best health of his life! Thanks for your concern! He is filming today at GS Pawn,” Rick Harrison of “Pawn Stars” said on Twitter. “Breaking news: CHUMLEE IS ALIVE & WELL! He is actually filming today but we all really appreciate everyone’s concern!”

“May we live long, Rich forever,” Chumlee also tweeted.

Chumlee said several months ago that he started losing weight because his father died of pancreatic cancer.

“My dad died from pancreatic cancer at 54, two weeks before the show aired. I’m making sure I’m eating my vegetables and staying away from the red meat,” he said.

About another year ago, another fake news website said he died of a marijuana overdose.

“The rumor was nothing more than a hoax, a bit of fiction promulgated in a 14 May 2013 article published on the Internet Chronicle web site, one which followed up that site’s equally fictitious report from two months earlier which claimed Chumlee had been arrested for possession of seven pounds of marijuana. (The putative cause of death given in Chumlee’s phony Internet Chronicle obituary, a “marijuana overdose,” is virtually a medical impossibility.),” says hoax-debunking website Snopes.