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Ciara O'Rourke
By Ciara O'Rourke December 1, 2021

No, Virgil Abloh wasn’t a defendant in the Ghislaine Maxwell case

If Your Time is short

  • Designer Virgil Abloh, who died on Nov. 28 after a multi-year battle with cancer, was not a defendant in the criminal case against Ghislaine Maxwell, who is accused of trafficking teenage girls.
  • Abloh and Maxwell were both listed as defendants among other people and companies in a separate civil lawsuit that was filed in federal court 2020, but a judge dismissed it in September on grounds that it was frivolous. 

On Nov. 28, designer Virgil Abloh died after a more than two-year battle with cardiac angiosarcoma, a rare form of cancer.

But in the days since, some social media posts have wrongly tried to connect Abloh’s death with the criminal trial of Ghislaine Maxwell, who is accused of trafficking girls to have sex with financier Jeffrey Epstein

"Virgil Abloh defendant in Maxwell case dies 1 day before trial," one post says. "And here we go." 

That’s wrong. This post was flagged as part of Facebook’s efforts to combat false news and misinformation on its News Feed. (Read more about our partnership with Facebook.)

Maxwell’s trial, which started on Nov. 29, is taking place in federal district court in Manhattan. Court records show that she is the sole defendant in the case. The criminal docket in the case — case number 1:20-cr-003300-AJN —  does not name Abloh. The Justice Department is also posting some updates about the case on its website.

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A separate, civil case — case number 1:20-cv-07102-LLS — was filed in federal court in August 2020 against numerous people, including Maxwell, Abloh, Beyonce, the New York City Police Department, the Walt Disney Company, Harvey Weinstein and Kanye West. 

According to the complaint filed by Texas resident Charlene Latham, among other plaintiffs in the case, "over the course of decades, the defendants established a lucrative but sociopathic, criminal enterprise where defendants engaged in decades of human trafficking, sexual assaults and various abuses."

A judge dismissed the case in September 2021 on grounds that it was frivolous, court records show.  

We rate this post False.

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No, Virgil Abloh wasn’t a defendant in the Ghislaine Maxwell case

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