FACT CHECK: Viral Image Falsely Claims Oprah Winfrey Was Arrested And Her Home Raided For Sex Trafficking

Elias Atienza | Fact Check Reporter

An image shared on Facebook claims TV personality Oprah Winfrey’s Florida estate was raided for evidence of child sex trafficking.

Other iterations claim Boca Raton, Florida, police arrested her last night for “running a sex ring.”

Verdict: False

Winfrey has not been arrested in connection with sex trafficking, nor has her home been raided. She does not appear to own property in Boca Raton.

Fact Check:

The claim that police raided Winfrey’s home in Boca Raton for evidence of sex trafficking became one of Twitter’s top trending topics Tuesday night. It has also appeared on Facebook, where a post featured images of a gated home blocked off with red tape.

“The house of Oprah Winfrey in Boca Raton, Florida is being dis-assembled and checking the tunnels underground for child-sexual trafficking and other crimes against humanity!” reads the post. “And she happens to be a very closed friend of Harvey Weinstein.”

A Twitter user also remarked, “Lmaooo Oprah Winfrey got arrested for running sex ring I always knew she was dirty.” (RELATED: Did A Florida Robber Use A Cough ‘As A Weapon’ Amid The Coronavirus Outbreak?)

The viral claim, however, has no merit. An internet search only turned up credible news outlets debunking the notion that she had been arrested in connection with a sex trafficking ring and her home had been raided.

Winfrey took to Twitter to address the claim that originated in a QAnon conspiracy theory that had surfaced online, according to the Washington Post.

“Just got a phone call that my name is trending. And being trolled for some awful FAKE thing,” she tweeted. “It’s NOT TRUE. Haven’t been raided, or arrested. Just sanitizing and self distancing with the rest of the world. Stay safe everybody.”

The Boca Raton Police Department also denied she had been arrested.

“The social media stories trending about @oprah being arrested by @bocapolice is absolutely false,” the department tweeted.

Winfrey does own, among other properties, a sprawling horse farm in Montecito, California, and a multimillion dollar vacation home in Telluride, Colorado, according to E! News. However, property records for Palm Beach County, where Boca Raton is located, do not show Winfrey having any homes in the area.

The home featured in the Facebook post is currently listed for sale under Premier Estate Properties. Its listing on Zillow does not have Winfrey as the owner and puts the home’s value at $7,950,000.

“Fake news,” Carmen DiAngelo, the listing agent for the property, told the Daily Caller in a phone interview. “That is incorrect information.”

Elias Atienza

Fact Check Reporter
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