FACT CHECK: Was Virgil Abloh Listed As A Defendant In Ghislaine Maxwell’s Trial?

Elias Atienza | Fact Check Reporter

An image shared on Facebook claims the late fashion designer Virgil Abloh was listed as a defendant in Ghislaine Maxwell’s criminal trial and died before it began.

Verdict: Misleading

While Abloh did die a day before Maxwell’s trial began, he was not listed as a co-defendant in the criminal case against her. He was listed as a co-defendant in a civil case that was dismissed in 2020.

Fact Check: 

Maxwell, a former confidant of the deceased convicted sex offender Jeffrey Epstein, is currently on trial for federal sex trafficking charges, according to The New York Times. Social media users have been claiming that Abloh, who died on Nov. 28 of a rare form of cancer, was a co-defendant in the criminal case against her. (RELATED: Does This Image Show ‘Co-Conspirators’ In Ghislaine Maxwell‘s Criminal Case?)

While it is true that Abloh died the day before Maxwell’s trial began, he is not a co-defendant in her criminal case. Maxwell is the only defendant listed in the original indictment in the case and other court documents available on CourtListener. Likewise, Check Your Fact reviewed a section of the Department of Justice’s website dedicated to the case and did not find any mention of Abloh.

The claim likely stems from a civil lawsuit filed in 2020 against 38 entities, including Abloh, titled “Latham et al v. The 1953 Trust et al.” In that case, the plaintiff alleged that the 38 entities, which included Epstein’s estate, Maxwell, The Walt Disney Company, Beyoncé and others, were involved in human trafficking, abuse and financial exploitation of the plaintiff. The case was dismissed by a U.S. District judge as “frivolous” in September 2020, according to court documents and records available online.

The New York Times reported Nov. 16 that the prosecutors for Maxwell’s federal sex-trafficking trial said they would argue there were three co-conspirators, Epstein and two other unnamed individuals. However, Maxwell’s attorneys said the two people are not available for testifying, according to the outlet at the time.

Elias Atienza

Fact Check Reporter
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