July 7, 2020 / 5:55 PM / a month ago

Fact check: BBC News has not published a future date article saying Ghislaine Maxwell is in intensive care for coronavirus

Social media users are sharing a post which claims that BBC News published an article dated in the future, which states that Ghislaine Maxwell, who was recently arrested on suspicion of having assisted Jeffrey Epstein’s abuse of minors, has moved to intensive care for coronavirus. This claim is false. On the BBC News website there is no evidence of this article, which appears to be an edited version of an article about the UK Prime Minister.

Reuters Fact Check. REUTERS/Axel Schmidt

The BBC confirmed to Reuters the article was a fake and said it had asked for it to be removed from platforms which were displaying it.

The claim has been shared hundreds of times on Facebook and Twitter (here , here , here , here) .

The image appears to show a BBC News article dated 11th July, with the headline “Ghislaine Maxwell moved to intensive care as Coronavirus symptoms worsen”. Below the headline is a picture of Maxwell as well as the first line of the article, which reads “Former socialite and Epstein associate Ghislaine Maxwell has been moved to intensive care in hospital after her coronavirus symptoms “worsened”.”

Ghislaine Maxwell was arrested on July 2 on U.S. charges of luring underage girls so that the financier Jeffrey Epstein could sexually abuse them (here ). In August 2019 Epstein was found dead in a New York jail cell, where he was being held on sex-trafficking charges (here).

No article with this headline or top line appears on BBC News (here).

The article appears to be a fake version of a previous piece published by the BBC in April about the UK Prime Minister Boris Johnson (www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-52192604).

The article in the screenshot is in the UK, England news section on the BBC website, however Maxwell was arrested in New Hampshire in the United States and then moved to New York (here). Previous articles about Maxwell are therefore in the World, US & Canada section of the website (tinyurl.com/ybx3d57p).

On July 3, a self-described satire site (here) published an article claiming that Maxwell had tested positive for coronavirus in the New Hampshire jail (here).

VERDICT

False. BBC News has not published an article dated in the future, which says that Ghislaine Maxwell is in intensive care for coronavirus.

This article was produced by the Reuters Fact Check team. Read more about our work to fact-check social media posts here

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