ABC is backing off of its claim that “Top Gun” director Tony Scott’s suicide was prompted by inoperable brain cancer. Scott’s wife, Donna, emerged to dispute the report, telling investigators the claim was “absolutely false.”

Scott’s body was recovered Sunday around 3 p.m. from Los Angeles Harbor after he apparently parked his car and jumped from the Vincent Thomas Bridge in San Pedro, Calif.

https://twitter.com/andylevy/status/237704486171332609

A report on “Good Morning America” Monday morning that quoted “a source close to” Scott as saying that the director “had inoperable brain cancer” was picked up quickly by other media outlets. ABC amended its headline this evening to read, “Tony Scott Brain Cancer Report Appears in Doubt.”

Just last month, ABC’s Brian Ross rushed to link the Aurora, Colo., movie theater shootings to the Colorado Tea Party after finding the name “James Holmes” on a website. Ross later apologized for the report, which led to the mistakenly identified man having to turn off his phone after receiving death threats. Conservatives falsely smeared by Ross haven’t forgotten.