Fact Check: NO Evidence That Conjoined Hensel Twins Are Now Separated

Fact Check

  • by: Christiana Dillard

STORY UPDATED: check for updates below.

Fact Check: NO Evidence That Conjoined Hensel Twins Are Now Separated No Evidence

Are Abby and Brittany Hensel, conjoined twins who grew up in the public eye, now separated? No, that does not appear to be true: Although there are few readily available pictures of the twins taken in the past few years, there is no evidence that the two are separated at the time of writing.

The claim appeared in a Facebook post (archived here) on January 6, 2022. It had a picture of the Hensel twins together and another of them with the same clothes and same facial expressions -- however, their bodies were completely separated. The post also included a link to an article. The caption of the post reads:

Doctors thought Brittany & Abby wouldn't survive after they were forced to separate the conjoined twins. However, years after their surgery these inspiring twins are sharing their story.

This is what the post looked like on Facebook on January 11, 2021:

Facebook screenshot

(Source: Facebook screenshot taken on Tue Jan 11 21:40 2022 UTC)

The article linked in the Facebook post is titled "These Conjoined Twins Are Defying All Odds And We Are Loving It" and directly contradicts the post. A section of the article titled "The Idea of The Separation" states that Brittany promised Abby that "they would forever stay together." Lead Stories could not verify this story's validity, but the twins seem to have developed a routine that allows them to function well while conjoined, as seen in this video from 2017.

The picture of the Hensel twins conjoined included in the post is a still from "Abby & Brittany," a reality series that aired on TLC in 2012 and focused on the twins' lives during college. Another version of the still used in an article from In Touch Weekly is included below:

Screenshot 2022-01-11 4.29.00 PM.png

(Source: In Touch Weekly screenshot taken on Tue Jan 11 21:29:00 2022 UTC)

Google search results of "Abby and Brittany Hensel separated," "Hensel twins separated" and "Abby and Brittany Hensel 2022" did not generate any results indicating that the twins are separated. Lead Stories conducted reverse image searches on Yandex, Google Images and TinEye of the picture of the Hensel twins separated that is included in the post. We did not find any trustworthy version of the picture, suggesting it is a digitally manipulated fake.

We also located the image (archived here) on the website of David Valdez, a computer graphics artist. In an email to Lead Stories on January 12, 2022, Valdez explained:

This is my digital work. I separated them digitally as a painting exercise.
It is an old painting. I didn't think to add disclaimers when I posted it as a sample of my work.

Valdez said that he never showed the work to the Hensel twins and hoped this "didn't cause them any grief."

At the time of writing, the Hensel twins appear to be working as teachers (archived here) at an elementary school. A picture of the twins on the school's website shows them conjoined.

Lead Stories reached out to the Hensel twins for comment and will update this story with any relevant responses.

Updates:

  • 2022-01-12T22:24:17Z 2022-01-12T22:24:17Z
    Adds quote from computer graphics artist.

Want to inform others about the accuracy of this story?

See who is sharing it (it might even be your friends...) and leave the link in the comments.:


  Christiana Dillard

Christiana Dillard is a former news writer for Temple University’s Lew Klein College of Media and Communication. She received her undergraduate degree in English Writing from the University of Pittsburgh. She has been a freelance writer for several organizations including the Pittsburgh Black Media Federation, Pitt Magazine, and The Heinz Endowments. When she’s not producing or studying media she’s binging it, watching YouTube videos or any interesting series she can find on streaming services.

Read more about or contact Christiana Dillard

About us

International Fact-Checking Organization

Lead Stories is a fact checking website that is always looking for the latest false, deceptive or inaccurate stories (or media) making the rounds on the internet.
Spotted something? Let us know!.

Lead Stories is a:


Follow us on social media

Most Read

Most Recent

Share your opinion