FACT CHECK: Does This Photo Show Boris Johnson With Ghislaine Maxwell?

Brad Sylvester | Fact Check Editor

An image shared on Facebook purportedly shows British Prime Minister Boris Johnson with convicted sex offender Jeffrey Epstein’s confidante and ex-girlfriend Ghislaine Maxwell.

Verdict: False

The image shows Johnson with his first wife, Allegra Mostyn-Owen, not Maxwell.

Fact Check:

The black-and-white photograph being shared features Johnson with a young woman leaning on his shoulder while holding what appears to be a wine glass.

The photo’s caption attempts to link the British prime minister to Maxwell, a British socialite and heiress who has been accused of involvement in Epstein’s crimes against young women. Epstein died of an apparent suicide in August 2019 while awaiting trial for federal sex-trafficking charges, according to The New York Times.

But the woman pictured is not Maxwell. The Daily Caller News Foundation conducted a reverse image search of the photo and found several news sources identifying the young woman as Mostyn-Owen, who became Johnson’s first wife. Photographer Dafydd Jones took the picture in March 1986 in Oxford.

“Boris Johnson and Allegra Mostyn-Owen, sultans Ball, Oxford Town Hall, 10 March 1986,” reads the caption of the photo on Jones’ website. (RELATED: Did Doctors Describe Boris Johnson’s Coronavirus Symptoms As ‘Contrived’?)

Some iterations of the claim also include a screen grab of a tweet, purportedly from Johnson, that reads, “RIP to my dear friend Ghislaine Maxwell who was found dead next week.” However, that tweet is fake. The DCNF found no record of it on Johnson’s verified Twitter account nor in Politwoops’ archive of his deleted tweets.

Maxwell was arrested in New Hampshire last week by the Federal Bureau of Investigation, the New York Post reported. She faces charges that include conspiracy to entice minors to travel to engage in illegal sex acts, enticement of a minor to travel to engage in illegal sex acts, conspiracy to transport minors with intent to engage in criminal sexual activity, transportation of a minor with intent to engage in criminal sexual activity, and perjury, according to the indictment.

The Prime Minister’s Office did not respond to a request for comment.

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Brad Sylvester

Fact Check Editor
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