Bayliss Wagner, USA TODAY
Printed 8: 28 p.m. ET March 5, 2021 | Updated 8: 29 p.m. ET March 5, 2021
The claim: Bill Gates and Ghislaine Maxwell are first cousins
Since British socialite Ghislaine Maxwell used to be charged in July 2020 with helping Jeffrey Epstein‘s sexual abuse of minors, many claims linking her with other celebrities bear popped up on social media.
Days after her arrest, as an instance, the unfounded claim that Maxwell used to be the sister of Dr. Anthony Fauci’s companion began to switch with the circulate into. Roughly a month later, USA TODAY debunked a put up, shared a total bunch of thousands of times, that wrongly linked her to a list of roughly 100 politicians and public figures accused of intercourse crimes. And in December 2020, USA TODAY additionally reported that users falsely identified Chief Justice John Roberts in a photograph with Maxwell.
Now, a Facebook put up from March 2 that has been shared practically 900 times claims that Bill Gates, the Microsoft founder who used to be named the world’s 2d richest particular person for 2020, is Maxwell’s first cousin.
The user claims the 2 are connected by means of Gates’ mom, Mary Maxwell Gates.
“Ghislaine Maxwell and Bill Gates first cousins by means of Gates’ mom. Mary Maxwell Gates. And yes, I researched it,” wrote the distinctive poster, Azul Cielo. However, the Facebook user supplied no evidence and did now not acknowledge to USA TODAY requests for comment.
In August 2020, a QAnon conspiracy theory page on Facebook posted a identical claim of a relation between Maxwell and Gates; the claim used to be shared roughly 1,700 times. FactCheck.org debunked the claim, it persisted to switch with the circulate into, as a user commented the image on the March 2 put up.
No evidence of family ties
For this claim to be correct, and for the maiden title of Mary Gates to bear come from the same Maxwell family as did Ghislaine, Ghislaine Maxwell’s father would bear needed to be Gates’ maternal uncle. In other words, the claim assumes Mary Gates’ brother is Ghislaine Maxwell’s father.
But Mary Gates did now not bear a brother: She used to be an easiest child, per the obituary of her father, James Willard Maxwell. Other public sources such because the family tree space Geneanet verify this, and a search came across no credible sources linking Mary Gates with Ghislaine Maxwell’s father.
Besides to, per the obituary of Mary Gates by the Associated Press in 1994, Gates’ father James Willard Maxwell used to be a vice president of Pacific National Bank (later is neatly-known as First Interstate Bank).
Robert Maxwell, Ghislaine Maxwell’s father, used to be no longer born with the family title Maxwell; Encyclopaedia Brittanica and other sources utter that he used to be Jan Ludvik Hoch in Czechoslovakia, earlier than emigrating to France and then the U.K. He used to be a publishing rich particular person. No public recordsdata give recordsdata on Robert Maxwell’s father, whom the claim assumes is similar particular person as Gates’; Maxwell’s biographystates that his father died within the Holocaust.
Who’s within the photo, then?
Cielo’s put up uses a blurred photo of a lady standing within the help of Gates at what looks indulge in a social feature, which first appeared on Purepeople.com in 2008. The article on the French celebrity gossip space states that it used to be taken at a nightclub in Gothenburg, Sweden, where Gates’ friend Charles Simonyi used to be internet internet hosting a occasion earlier than his marriage ceremony to Lisa Persdotter.
The photo is cropped as to obscure the depth of the room, which makes it that you’d verbalize that the unidentified lady is standing extra from Gates than it appears. The photo is additionally some distance less blurry than the one within the Facebook put up.
Our score: Groundless
We rate this put up FALSE. Public recordsdata repeat that Mary Maxwell Gates did now not bear a brother, and thus that Bill Gates would possibly presumably presumably no longer be connected to Ghislaine Maxwell by means of her. No credible evidence on hand online contradicts this.
Our truth-evaluate sources:
- FactCheck.org, July 10, 2020, Social Media Posts Spread Groundless Declare About Fauci’s Accomplice
- USA TODAY, Aug.7, 2020, Fact evaluate: Sex crimes by public officers no longer linked to Ghislaine Maxwell
- Associated Press by means of Recent York Cases, June 11, 1994, Mary Gates, 64; Helped Her Son Initiate Microsoft
- Get A Grave, accessed March 5, James Willard Maxwell Jr.
- Geneanet, accessed March 5, James Willard Maxwell on Tim Dowling’s Household Tree
- Facebook put up by QAnon Huge Awakening page, Aug. 4, 2020
- USA TODAY, Dec. 20, 2020, Ghislaine Maxwell, French mannequin considered collectively in viral photo
- “Robert Maxwell.” Encyclopædia Britannica. 27 Could well 2020.
- Recent York Cases, Nov. 6, 1991, Robert Maxwell, 68; From Refugee to Ruthless Builder of a Publishing Empire
- Purepeople.com, Nov. 28, 2008, Bill Gates s’amuse avec une femme… mais ce n’est pas la sienne! (Translated: Bill Gates has fun with a lady… nonetheless no longer his lady!)
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