Glenn Powell reacts to fans’ claims that his cannibal tale is false

Glen Powell has addressed the speculation surrounding the veracity of a wild dating horror story he recently told on a podcast.

The Anyone But You actor, 35, sat down with Jake Shane to record an episode of Therapuss, revealing that his sister’s friend narrowly avoided cannibalism while out with a man she barely knew.

His sister’s friend thought the man was “super charming” until she went back to her date’s apartment and he massaged her with lotion that made her itch “like crazy”.

After fleeing the house and attending a doctor’s appointment, the woman, Powell claimed, was told that the cream was confirmed as a “black market lotion that breaks down skin for human consumption”.

Online viewers questioned whether the Top Gun: Maverick star’s tale was true. The story was subsequently debunked by BuzzFeed as a long-standing urban legend, which has been told across Europe and the United States with varying location and medical details for years.

Powell addressed the news on Twitter/X on Tuesday (11 June). “Props to my little sister’s friend who told her this dating story,” he wrote. “I’ve been telling this for years. I’m questioning my whole life now… False alarm. Back rubs are back.”

Fans were relieved to discover the story was an urban myth. “I’m so glad,” wrote one person in the comments, while another added: “I think you should just keep telling crazy stories of dubious authenticity, it’s a good bit.”

When first recounting the cannibal tale, Powell told Shane that his sister’s friend’s doctor had demanded the man’s address and sent police to his house where they found “several girls’ bodies”.

Though the story was entirely astonishing, Shane appeared to believe Powell. It was online viewers who questioned whether the Twisters star was being honest.

Versions of the urban legend have been told as far back as 2001 – when the fact-checking website Snopes first debunked the story after it circulated globally via email.

In each version of the tale, a woman visits the doctor after finding an unusual rash either from lotion or kissing a stranger. She then discovers the skin reaction is related to bacteria on dead bodies or flesh-eating cream.

Glen Powell in ‘Hit Man’ (Netflix)
Glen Powell in ‘Hit Man’ (Netflix)

“How was he applying the lotion to her shoulders without having it on his own hands? Was he giving her a massage while wearing latex gloves?” one individual asked after Powell recounted the myth.

“This sounds like a made-up story. Too many pieces are implausible,” questioned another.

“I need to know what this lotion is exactly. What does it mean that it ‘breaks down skin for human consumption’???” another listener remarked. “It eats human flesh but it’s safe for human consumption??? What?”