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Oprah Winfrey was once friends with the disgraced entertainment mogul, as many others were, but there is no evidence to corroborate the claim that she arranged or helped Weinstein sexually abuse women.
After news broke of Harvey Weinstein’s years of sexual abuse and harassment, Oprah Winfrey spoke out.
"I’ve been processing the accounts of Harvey Weinstein’s hideous behavior and haven’t been able to find the words to articulate the magnitude of the situation," she wrote on Facebook in 2017.
Now, following Winfrey’s high-profile March 7 interview with Meghan Markle and Prince Harry, baseless allegations about her helping the disgraced entertainment mogul abuse women have emerged on social media.
"I think now is an excellent time to remind everyone that Oprah Winfrey for years and years pimped young Hollywood girls to Harvey Weinstein to be raped," a Facebook post says. It features a photo of Winfrey sitting with a young woman while Weinstein stands off to the side.
The 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.)
The claim appears to rely solely on the fact that Winfrey was friends with Weinstein before his history of sexual abuse and harassment came to light. There is no evidence that she had ever solicited or arranged for any "young Hollywood girls" to be abused by Weinstein.
Winfrey is not implicated in a single incident involving Weinstein, which date back to the 1980s and include over a dozen allegations of rape.
A reverse-image search revealed that the photo in the post was taken in 2014 at a Weinstein Company event and shows British pop singer Rita Ora, who was 23 years old at the time.
At the 2018 Golden Globes ceremony, Winfrey’s speech about female empowerment and the Time’s Up movement that developed in the midst of Weinstein’s fallout was met with widespread acclaim, including from Ora.
The singer shared photos of her and Winfrey from the same night on her Twitter account, praising the speech.
"What an incredibly moving speech and human being @oprah #Timesup #proud so happy to be alive to witness this beautiful change @timesupnow."
Winfrey has been targeted with unfounded claims before. In March 2020, fabricated posts by conspiracy theorists claimed that she was under house arrest and wearing an ankle monitor.
"Just got a phone call that my name is trending," she wrote nearly a year ago. "And being trolled for some awful FAKE thing. It’s NOT TRUE. Haven’t been raided, or arrested. Just sanitizing and self distancing with the rest of the world."
Facebook posts claim that Oprah Winfrey arranged for young Hollywood girls to be raped by Harvey Weinstein.
Winfrey was once friends with the disgraced entertainment mogul, as many others were, but there is no evidence to corroborate the claim that she arranged or helped Weinstein sexually abuse women.
We rate this Pants on Fire!
Facebook post, March 9, 2021
Facebook post, March 10, 2021
Tin Eye, reverse-image search, March 10, 2021
PolitiFact, No, Oprah’s house not seized and she hasn’t been arrested, March 18, 2020
PolitiFact, No, Oprah wasn’t wearing an ankle monitor in her Meghan Markle interview, March 9, 2021
BBC, Harvey Weinstein timeline: How the scandal unfolded, May 29, 2020
Twitter, Rita Ora post, Jan. 8, 2018
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