CASSELBERRY, Fla. — Actresses Demi Moore and Nia Vardalos were linked to an online chain of Twitter posts that ultimately led to Florida authorities intervening today when an 18-year-old man threatened to commit suicide.
Moore’s Twitter account, mrskutcher, was among those responding to a message from a young man threatening to hang himself in his front yard in Casselberry, north of Orlando. Moore — with more than 2.5 million followers — and husband Ashton Kutcher are both active on the social network.
Vardalos’ eponymous account included a message that she had called a suicide hotline and been connected to Florida police. “I gave his name+city. They went to home, helped him,” one message read.
The Seminole County Sheriff’s Office said authorities received two calls around 2:30 a.m., one from California and one from Vancouver, British Columbia. Both callers reported the suicide threat on Twitter. There was no record of the callers’ names, Lt. Sonia Pisano said.
Deputies went to a home and took the man to a hospital, Pisano said.
The teen’s mother told the deputy responding that her son “was very emotional and diagnosed with obsessive compulsive disorder,” according to a report released today by the sheriff’s office. Her son was sitting at his computer desk crying when he told the officer he “did not know what to do with himself without help” and admitted to posting the tweet.
The man was then placed in protective custody.
A phone message left by The Associated Press at the home was not immediately returned.
Calls to representatives for Moore and for Vardalos, who starred in “My Big Fat Greek Wedding,” went unanswered early today.
Moore’s Twitter account was involved in a similar case last April, when a California woman messaged that she was going to kill herself. San Jose police said they took a woman to a hospital for “psychiatric evaluation” after someone called about a tweet sent to Moore threatening suicide.