Who bit Beyoncé? In less than a day, the question has become the millennial equivalent of Dallas‘s “Who shot J.R.?” Just swap at the 1980s watercolor for 2010s Twitter.
The fascination makes sense: A powerful, seemingly untouchable figure was humbled by a random and unimaginable episode of violence on her own turf. The suspects are numerous and could seemingly be almost anyone who fits the description of “actress” in the large cast of characters we call “Hollywood.” Perhaps the actual perpetrator may be one we least suspected all along. Or maybe not—we just don’t know.
The mystery was not sparked by a hyped-up soap-opera cliffhanger season finale, but rather in a GQ profile of up-and-coming comedic force Tiffany Haddish, who revealed that at a party she attended as a guest of Jay-Z and Beyoncé she witnessed an “actress” bite Beyoncé on the face, and after offering to kick the actress’s ass, Beyoncé called her off.
“Tiffany, no. Don’t do that,” is how Haddish remember the warning. “That bitch is on drugs. She not even drunk. The bitch is on drugs. She not like that all the time. Just chill.”
Of course, the internet has no chill, and will not rest until the actress is identified, though we have little to go on.
The profile says the incident happened at a party in December. Haddish posted selfies with Beyoncé and Jay-Z on December 22nd, so it seems safe to assume that the party in question was some sort of afterparty for the final show of Jay-Z’s 4:44 tour in Inglewood, California, on December 21st. The internet has quickly picked up on a number of names who were spotted at the concert but has found less concrete evidence about the actual afterparty. Was it just backstage? At a nearby club or restaurant? In a hotel suite or private residence? We just don’t know. We also don’t know the full guest list. Beyoncé and Jay-Z are notoriously private about their soirees (see: their super-secret Oscars afterparty), and there were no reports about it at the time. Just about anyone could have come and gone into that party without the public being the wiser.
Though we do know the answer is out there somewhere. Chrissy Teigen, something of the public’s Hollywood surrogate thanks to her ever-candid Twitter account, at first tweeted that she, like the rest of us, needed to know who it was. She then shared a hunch (while keeping the name to herself), before finally revealing she had learned the actual afterparty cannibal. Teigen’s oversharing did provide some clues, though: She revealed that as the biter is someone whom she actually likes, she’s not spilling.
At the same time, other suspects are offering up public denials. So why we don’t know who bit Beyoncé, we do know who probably didn’t bite Beyoncé:
Queen Latifah and Rihanna Did Not Bite Beyoncé
Why people think they did: They were both at the Jay-Z concert that night.
Who they are: Global icons.
Why they probably didn’t: While both Latifah and Rihanna act, it’s not their main or only thing. The way Haddish tells her story, you can tell the way she says “this actress” is synonymous with “just some actress,” and Rihanna and Latifah are decidedly not just “some” anyone. If it was either of them, Haddish would recount the story in a totally different way with a totally different context.
Besides, if either of them did, you know during that moment everyone in the room would look around at one another and instantly decide without even speaking that either everyone would hear about this or no one outside the room ever would. That story would have either been on the front page of TMZ within hours, or else a group of publicists, lawyers, and “handlers” would swarm that room with either those memory swipers from Men in Black or, at the very least, NDAs more ironclad than the Trump Organization’s.
Sara Foster Did Not Bite Beyoncé
Why people think she did: She was spotted attending the Jay-Z concert that night.
Who she is: As the daughter of music producer David Foster, she’s technically Gigi and Bella Hadid’s former stepsister. She’s also an ex-model in her own right, and has moved into acting with roles on The CW’s 90210 and VH1’s Barely Famous.
Why she probably didn’t: “Flattering that anyone thinks I could get this close to Beyoncé,” she wrote on Instagram.
Taraji P. Henson Did Not Bite Beyoncé
Why people think she did: Nefarious (and often flat-out wrong) gossip site Media Take Out claims she did…or at least one person on Twitter claims the site did. We can’t actually find the article.
Who she is: Cookie Lyons herself, duh.
Why she probably didn’t: Tiffany Haddish herself shot the rumor down.
Jennifer Lawrence Did Not Bite Beyoncé
Why people think she did: Some people on the internet just hate Jennifer Lawrence, and of course they’re going to drag her into it.
Who she is: Divisive actress, but you know that already.
Why she probably didn’t: She was spotted in New York City that day hanging out with her ex Darren Aronofksy.
Gwyneth Paltrow Did Not Bite Beyoncé
Why people think she did: She’s a longtime friend of Beyoncé who likely could have been on the guest list that night, and likely the kind of longtime friend Beyoncé would cut some slack if she was straight-up wilding out.
Who she is: The kind of actress who probably could convince Beyoncé that getting bitten on the face was a hot new wellness trend that improves circulation and lessens wrinkles.
Why she probably didn’t: a) This does not sound like Gwyneth Paltrow at all. Blythe Danner didn’t raise her like that. a) Chrissy Teigen confirms that she’s not the biter.
Bella Thorne Did Not Bite Beyoncé
Why people think she did: They just have a hunch. A feeling in their bones.
Who she is: A former Disney Channel actress who starred in last weekend’s Midnight Sun. She has a reputation for being, uh, “rambunctious,” as is captured in her frequent Instagram stories and Snapchats.
Why she probably didn’t: Like we said, she frequently updates her Instagram stories and Snaps, and fans then preserve them for our cultural archives on YouTube. She seemed pretty busy on both December 21st and 22nd, and she definitely was not at a Jay-Z concert. It seems she spent the night listening to music with her boyfriend, Mod Son, and was on set early the next day in lingerie.
Lena Dunham Did Not Bit Beyoncé
Why people think she did: A little bit for the same reasons they think Jennifer Lawrence did. A little bit for the same reasons they think Bella Thorne did.
Who she is: Writer, actress, and notorious apologizer.
Why she probably didn’t: There actually is no evidence she was at that Jay-Z concert or afterparty, nor any evidence she was actually in the State of California. The problem is, there’s no evidence that she was necessarily anywhere else. Dunham wasn’t making public appearances around the time and was on a lengthy social media hiatus that lasted throughout all of December. Still, a bookie has picked Dunham as the odds-on favorite.
The thing is, this is Lena Dunham we’re talking about. She has no filter. She can’t keep secrets. If she bit Beyoncé she would have told us about it herself by now and issued a full apology to anyone she accidentally offended, and you know that.
Also, there’s no evidence to suggest that Beyoncé knows Dunham at all, let alone well enough to excuse a face bite here and there.
Sanaa Lathan Did Not Bit Beyoncé, But If She Did…
Why people think she did: She was at the concert that night and has partied in the presence of Jay and Bey before.
Who she is: She voiced Donna Tubbs on Family Guy spinoff The Cleveland Show and has appeared in movies like Love & Basketball, American Assassin, and Alien vs Predator. Which is to say, an actress.
Why she probably didn’t:
She said so.