Fact Check: Chief Justice John Roberts Is NOT In A Photo With Ghislaine Maxwell

Fact Check

  • by: Alan Duke
Fact Check: Chief Justice John Roberts Is NOT In A Photo With Ghislaine Maxwell Jean, Not John

Does a photo show U.S. Chief Justice John Roberts with accused sex abuser Ghislaine Maxwell? No, that's not true: A photo posted on social media in December 2020 purportedly showing Roberts and Maxwell sitting together on a small couch actually shows Maxwell with Jean-Luc Brunel, a French model agency head who is accused of helping traffic teenage girls. There is no evidence to support the claim that Roberts ever met Maxwell, who was billionaire pedophile Jeffrey Epstein's girlfriend and alleged co-conspirator.

The claim appeared on social media, including in a post (archived here) shared on Facebook on December 18, 2020. The text accompanying the photo read:

Well, well, well... would ya lookie here! Chief Justice John Roberts and Ghislaine Maxwell.... now do you understand why he has been doing what he's been doing?

This is what the post looked like on Facebook at the time of writing:

Facebook screenshot

(Source: Facebook screenshot taken on Sat Dec 19 20:10:09 2020 UTC)

This claim was easy to debunk. First, this is Roberts:


This is a close up of the man with Maxwell:

image (57).png

The best proof, though, the Daily Mail newspaper published this photo in 2019 and identified the man as Brunel:

image (56).png

Brunel was arrested in France on suspicion of sex crimes in December 2020. He was a known friend of Epstein, who died in a New York jail in August 2019 while awaiting prosecution on federal sex crime charges.

Roberts has been under assault on social media by Trump supporters upset by the high court's refusal to hear legal challenges to the presidential election. One of the leaders of this campaign to discredit Roberts by falsely associating him with Epstein is Atlanta lawyer Lin Wood:

Lead Stories also recently debunked a claim that a photo showed Roberts swimming with former President Bill Clinton in the waters around Epstein's private island. It was a false claim. (Read our debunk here.)

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  Alan Duke

Editor-in-Chief Alan Duke co-founded Lead Stories after ending a 26-year career with CNN, where he mainly covered entertainment, current affairs and politics. Duke closely covered domestic terrorism cases for CNN, including the Oklahoma City federal building bombing, the UNABOMBER and search for Southeast bomber Eric Robert Rudolph. CNN moved Duke to Los Angeles in 2009 to cover the entertainment beat. Duke also co-hosted a daily podcast with former HLN host Nancy Grace, "Crime Stories with Nancy Grace" and hosted the podcast series "Stan Lee's World: His Real Life Battle with Heroes & Villains." You'll also see Duke in many news documentaries, including on the Reelz channel, CNN and HLN.

Read more about or contact Alan Duke

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