FACT CHECK: Hoax Claims A Woman Had 14 Children Fathered By 14 Different Men
An image shared on Facebook, along with an accompanying article, claimed that a woman had set a Guinness World Record by having 14 children with 14 different fathers.
The viral image is of Connecticut mother Karena Bennett, who welcomed her first child, Damon, on Jan. 2, 2015. No such record currently exists in the list of Guinness World Records.
The image has circulated repeatedly over the past few years, but this particular post linked to an article from the website I Cook I Eat that claimed the pictured woman was Anita Sullivan, a 36-year-old Michigan woman who had 14 children by 14 different men.
“I’m extremely proud to have broken a World Record,” she was quoted as saying. “My mother always told me that I was lazy and worthless, and that I would never accomplish anything in my life. Now, I’ve shown everyone that she was wrong, and that I can even be the best in the world when I put my mind to something. In fact, I’ve just accomplished something that no one had done before!”
However, not only does such a record not exist in the catalog of Guinness World Records, the pictured woman is not 36 years old or the mother of 14 children.
Rachel Gluck, a public relations coordinator with Guinness World Records, told The Daily Caller that the organization does not monitor such a record.
The story has appeared on other websites, including World Daily News Report, a site that publishes “satirical” and “fictional” content according to its disclaimer.
“All characters appearing in the articles in this website – even those based on real people – are entirely fictional and any resemblance between them and any person, living, dead or undead, is purely a miracle,” the website says.
Rather, the image is actually of Bennett, who is in her early twenties. She welcomed her first child with partner Elder Marroquin in Milford, Connecticut, back in January 2015. Bennett’s picture was taken and publicized because her son was the first baby born in the hospital that year.
After the fake news story went viral, Bennett said it impacted her personally because, having been tagged on Facebook, she witnessed many people posting derogatory comments about her.
“When people are really starting to make comments about your person, calling you ugly, calling you fat, those were the comments that really started to hurt me a lot. That’s where I started to break down, seeing comments from 30,000 people,” Bennett told ABC News back in 2016.