We’re only a few months into 2018 and we already have the lead for wildest celebrity anecdote this year.
A GQ magazine profile of comedian Tiffany Haddish published Monday revealed a few things: She drinks turpentine, is a dream whale-watching companion and, um, witnessed an actress biting Beyoncé on the face.
Beyoncé fans — the Beyhive — went on high alert. Pop-culture Twitter went bananas. Someone allegedly bit Beyoncé — considered a queen-like mega pop star — on the face. On the face. Like, on the face.
What a weird thing to happen to anyone. But Beyoncé? Utterly bonkers. The singer has such a tightly controlled image and is a pro at keeping her private life very private, showing snippets only on her terms. She manages to drop surprise albums without a song leaked in advance. Her 2016 visual album “Lemonade,” while her most revealing work to date, left fans guessing as to whether she was singing about her husband’s infidelity. Cheating rumors and missteps were pretty much confirmed the following year on Jay-Z’s album “4:44.”
That’s why the infamous elevator incident of 2014 was so shocking. The footage obtained by TMZ — of Solange Knowles attacking Jay-Z with Beyoncé nearby — provided a rare, uncontrolled glimpse into the Carter-Knowles world. (Beyoncé eventually alluded to the dramatic fallout in her music.)
Okay, but back to face-biting: According to Haddish, it happened during the after-party for a December Jay-Z concert.
Beyoncé’s representative, Yvette Noel-Schure, told GQ: “I absolutely cannot comment on any of this, as I have no knowledge.”
According to Haddish, at the party, an actress — whom she wouldn’t name — was “just, like, doing the mostest.” This included biting Beyoncé, prompting the pop star to storm away, grab Jay-Z and head to the back of the room.
“I was like, ‘What just happened?’ ” Haddish recalled. “And Beyoncé’s friend walked up and was like, ‘Can you believe this b—- just bit Beyoncé?’
“And so then . . . ,” she continues, “a lot of things happened.”
According to Haddish, she and the actress continued to cross paths throughout the night, culminating in a brief standoff. The actress, at one point, told Haddish to stop dancing, which — good luck making that happen.
“And then Beyoncé and Jay-Z walked by me, and I tapped Beyoncé.”
Haddish says she told Beyoncé, “I’m going to beat somebody a– at your party. I just want to let you know that.” Beyoncé asked her not to — and told her to “have fun” instead. (Haddish leveraged this moment into a selfie with Beyoncé.)
“Near the end of the party,” says Haddish, describing her final run-in with Mrs. Carter sometime later, “Beyoncé’s at the bar, so I said to Beyoncé, ‘Did she really bite you?’ She was like, ‘Yeah.’ ”
Haddish then went on to tell Beyoncé she was going to beat up the actress, but Beyoncé told her not to, that the woman is “on drugs. She not even drunk . . . She not like that all the time. Just chill.”
Haddish has previously dished about the night in question, telling Vulture that she had wanted to fight someone but Bey told her to have a good time instead, and then telling TV One’s “Uncensored” that another actress touched Jay-Z’s chest, prompting Beyoncé to intercede.
“She started talking to the other actress and some other stuff happened, but I’m not gonna say nothin’ yet,” Haddish said at the time. “But it’s gonna be in these streets.”
Beyoncé had alluded to Haddish’s storytelling skills in a verse of the DJ Khaled single, “Top Off,” singing, “If they’re tryna party with the queen / They gon’ have to sign a nondisclosure.”
But these new details on Monday prompted an army of amateur detectives to dive into action, sleuthing for whatever clues they could dig up and tweeting #WhoBitBeyonce to identify the actress in question.
Chrissy Teigen immediately jumped in, tweeting “I can only think of one person who would do this. but I cannot say. but she….is the worst.” The model then tried to tamp down any suggestion of Gwyneth Paltrow as the culprit and then went back on her initial guess, hinting she knows the identity of the rumored actress.
Lena Dunham, whose name was thrown around, took herself out of the running on Tuesday:
Lots of folks also seized upon The Cut’s celebrity gossip column, which in February published a handful of party attendee names — Rihanna, James Franco, French Montana, Queen Latifah, and actresses Sanaa Lathan and Sara Foster. Soon, Lathan’s and Foster’s Instagram posts were bombarded with angry messages.
“I wish I could get close enough to Beyoncé to bite her,” Foster wrote on an Instagram story.
Lathan chimed in with her own denial (which was met with some skepticism). By Tuesday afternoon, TMZ was out with a story, citing “multiple sources” who said Haddish told “multiple people the culprit is Sanaa.”
“One source said it was not an aggressive bite,” TMZ wrote. “It was playful and noninvasive, but still caught Beyoncé off guard.”
Haddish responded “No it wasn’t” to someone who tweeted that Taraji P. Henson may be the culprit.
The Beyhive also went after Haddish, flooding her social media accounts with lots of bee emojis and comments by people upset that the comedian publicly told the story about Beyoncé.
The comedian posted a photo of the GQ photo shoot on her Instagram profile, along with dozens of bee emojis and a response to her critics:
“Y’all forgot I am in the hive too and just know this I will always speak my truth. That’s not going to stop, ” Haddish wrote. “The Queen [bee] kept me from doing something half of you Bees would have done no matter what. To me she is a Shero and a Great person I have learned so much from her in just a short amount of time.”
Haddish added: “So no matter what she has a Unicorn” — the comic referring to herself — “that has her back.”
This isn’t the first time the Beyhive has gone after a purported Beyoncé nemesis. In 2016, her song “Sorry” called out “Becky with the good hair.” Fans interpreted this as Jay-Z cheating on Beyoncé with this “Becky,” and they frantically searched for clues of her identity — only to land on Rachel Roy, a fashion designer and ex-wife of Jay-Z’s ex-business partner.
Roy didn’t help matters by posting a coy Instagram caption: “Good hair don’t care, but we will take good lighting, for selfies, or self truths, always. live in the light #nodramaqueen.” It didn’t take long before Roy had to make her account private, as she was bombarded with nasty notes. (Not to mention celebrity chef Rachael Ray was the unintended target of some furious fans who swore they would never make her recipe for hot chicken fajitas again.)
Finally, on Wednesday, Haddish appeared ready to give up the details. “You wanna know who bit Beyoncé? I’m gonna just tell you all. And it’s the last time I’m talking about it, I ain’t going to say nothing else about it,” she said during an Instagram Live session.
But then she joked it was Stormy Daniels, adding “NDAs are real, so I’m not saying [expletive] about nothing.”
“People should be focusing on the real issues at hand, like did you do your taxes? Because taxes is due real soon,” she joked. “Can your children read and write? Have you been working with them on their reading and their writing? Is your house clean? That’s what we need to be focusing on.”
Emily Yahr contributed to this report, which was originally published March 26 and has been updated multiple times.