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Social Media Posts Spread False Claim About Fauci’s Wife


Quick Take

Social media posts falsely claim that Ghislaine Maxwell, the associate of convicted pedophile Jeffrey Epstein, is the sister of Dr. Christine Grady, Dr. Anthony Fauci’s wife. Maxwell and Grady are not siblings.

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British socialite Ghislaine Maxwell was arrested July 2 in New Hampshire on multiple charges related to the sexual abuse of girls and young women by the late financier Jeffrey Epstein. The announcement of Maxwell’s arrest was quickly followed by various rumors on social media, including the bogus claim she has contracted COVID-19, as we reported.

A social media post on Facebook now falsely claims that Maxwell is the sister of Dr. Christine Grady, the wife of Dr. Anthony Fauci. Fauci, director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases and a prominent figure during the coronavirus pandemic, has been the target of fake claims himself, as public backlash to COVID-19 mitigation measures has grown.

The Facebook post shows a photo of Fauci and Grady with the caption: “Dr Fauci is married to Ghislaine Maxwell’s sister.” Another post claims: “Dr. Anthony Fauci is married to Ghislaine Maxwell sister who changed her name from Christine Maxwell to Christine Grady[.] There Are No Coincedences.”

But Grady and Maxwell are not sisters.

Ghislaine Maxwell, who was born in France in 1961 and attended the University of Oxford, is the daughter of British media mogul Robert Maxwell.

Robert Maxwell, who was a member of Parliament in the 1960s, ran the Maxwell Communication Corporation, which included the Mirror Group Newspapers, Macmillan book publishers, and the New York Daily News. While at sea on his yacht in November 1991, Robert Maxwell disappeared, and his body was recovered in the Atlantic Ocean. 

Ghislaine Maxwell moved to the U.S. after her father’s death and became a close associate of Epstein, who died in prison on Aug. 10, 2019, as he awaited his trial on sex-trafficking charges. Maxwell, who has denied involvement in the alleged misconduct, is accused of working together with Epstein to recruit and groom victims. 

Fauci’s wife, Christine Grady, is the daughter of John H. Grady Jr., who like Maxwell had been a successful businessman and politician. Grady was a mayor of Livingston, New Jersey. 

But the parallels, including familial relations, end there.

Reuters has reported that Christine Grady has four siblings: Joanne Grady Huskey, John H Grady III, Barbara Grady-Ayer and Robert Grady.

Ghislaine Maxwell has six living siblings: Kevin, Ian, Anne, Christine, Isabel and Phillip, according to Reuters. (Two siblings have died.)

Christine Grady is a nurse-bioethicist and chief of the department of bioethics at the National Institutes of Health Clinical Center. She grew up in New Jersey and graduated from Georgetown University with degrees in nursing and biology. She also earned a master of science in nursing from Boston College and a doctorate in philosophy from Georgetown.

Grady met Fauci while caring for a patient. The pair have been married for more than 30 years and have three adult daughters. 

The bogus Facebook post is the latest example of a viral claim that — as we’ve previously written — fabricates familial and marital relationships between prominent figures. 

Editor’s note: FactCheck.org is one of several organizations working with Facebook to debunk misinformation shared on social media. Our previous stories can be found here.

Sources

“Fact check: Dr. Christine Grady, Anthony Fauci’s wife, is not Ghislaine Maxwell’s sister.” Reuters. 8 Jul 2020.

Fichera, Angelo. “Officials Didn’t Say Epstein Associate Has COVID-19.” FactCheck.org. 6 July 2020.

Fichera, Angelo. “Social Posts Distort Facts on Political Relationships.” FactCheck.org. 20 Nov 2019. 

Jeffrey Epstein Charged In Manhattan Federal Court With Sex Trafficking Of Minors.” Press release, U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Southern District of New York. 8 Jul 2019.

“Jeffrey Epstein ex-girlfriend Ghislaine Maxwell charged in US.” BBC. 3 Jul 2020. 

“Jeffrey Epstein: Financier found dead in New York prison cell.” BBC. 10 Aug 2019. 

“John H. Grady Jr.” Obits.nj.com. Accessed 10 Jul 2020. 

Laviola, Erin. “Christine Grady, Anthony Fauci’s Wife: 5 Fast Facts You Need to Know.” Heavy.com. 7 Jul 2020. 

“Our People.” Bioethics.nih.gov. Accessed 10 Jul 2020.

“Robert Maxwell.” Britannica.com. Accessed 10 Jul 2020. 

Rosenstiel, Thomas B. “Robert Maxwell, 68, Media Giant, Found Dead in Sea : Publishing: Briton vanished from his yacht. His debt-laden empire includes the N.Y. Daily News.” Los Angeles Times. 6 Nov 1991.

Schaedel, Sydney. “Fauci Didn’t Invent, Won’t Profit from Remdesivir.” FactCheck.org. 21 May 2020.

Scheiner, Matthew. “The Socialite on Epstein’s Arm.” The Cut. 15 Jul 2019. 

Stempel, Jonathan and Brendan Pierson. “Jeffrey Epstein accuser expands lawsuit against estate, alleged enablers.” Reuters. 8 Oct 2019.