Fact Check: Riley Gaines Did NOT Win $10 Million Defamation Lawsuit Against Whoopi Goldberg

Fact Check

  • by: Lead Stories Staff
Fact Check: Riley Gaines Did NOT Win $10 Million Defamation Lawsuit Against Whoopi Goldberg Satire Origin

Did former University of Kentucky swimmer Riley Gaines win a $10 million defamation lawsuit against actress Whoopi Goldberg? No, that's not true: As of the time this article was published, Gaines had not filed any lawsuit against Goldberg that resulted in her winning $10 million. The bogus information originated on a satirical website.

The claim appeared in a post (archived here) published on April 9, 2024. The post's caption read:

Riley Gaines won $10 million against Whoopi Goldberg for defaming her reputation, extremely satisfied fans spoke up (VIDEO)-xayah
See in below👇👇👇

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

riley gaines whoopi goldberg FB post.png

(Source: Facebook screenshot taken on Thu Apr 18 19:09:35 2024 UTC)

A comment under the post made by the same user who posted it included a link to an article that also makes the claim. The link leads to an article titled "Riley Gaiпes woп $10 millioп agaiпst Whoopi Goldberg for defamiпg her repυtatioп, extremely satisfied faпs spoke υp (VIDEO)-xayah" (archived here).

At the time this was written, Snopes had reviewed the same claim and found that the article was based on information from a self-described satirical website (archived here). The website, SpaceXMania, published an article titled "Breaking: Riley Gaines Wins $10 Million 'Defamation Lawsuit' Against Whoopi Goldberg," on October 9, 2023 (archived here), which echoes the claim. However, the "About Us" page of SpaceXMania sets the expectation that the website contains satirical news stories (archived here):

Our mission? To bring you the freshest fake news, some sassy analysis, and a good dose of satire, all rolled into one crazy concoction that orbits around Elon Musk and everything that's lighting up the viral/trending charts.

Lead Stories did a search on Google, visible here, which found no credible documents or reporting to corroborate the claim.

Other Lead Stories fact checks related to Riley Gaines can be found here and other Lead Stories fact checks related to Whoopi Goldberg can be found here.

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  Lead Stories Staff

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.

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