Fact Check

Did Elon Musk Tweet 'RIP' for Jeffrey Epstein?

"The woke left can't decide if I'm anti-semitic or friends with a Jewish man (RIP) and it's driving them crazy," the purported tweet screenshot read.

Published May 18, 2023

Twitter CEO Elon Musk speaks at the "Twitter 2.0: From Conversations to Partnerships," marketing conference in Miami Beach, Florida, on April 18, 2023. (Photo by CHANDAN KHANNA/AFP via Getty Images) (CHANDAN KHANNA/AFP via Getty Images)
Image Via CHANDAN KHANNA/AFP via Getty Images
Elon Musk tweeted "RIP," meaning "rest in peace," in regard to sex offender Jeffrey Epstein.

On May 17, 2023, the @kennedytcooper Twitter account asked in reference to Twitter owner Elon Musk, "Did he just RIP Jeffrey Epstein?" The post showed a screenshot of a purported May 16 tweet from Musk, in which he had supposedly said, "The woke left can't decide if I'm anti-semitic or friends with a Jewish man (RIP) and it's driving them crazy."

However, this tweet was fake. Musk never posted for Epstein to "RIP" ("rest in peace"). Further, in recent weeks, Musk's tweets all showed a blue verification checkmark next to a Twitter logo, an indication of his affiliation with the social media company. That bird logo was missing from the fake tweet screenshot, which meant that the person who created the screenshot forgot to include it.

Elon Musk never tweeted for Jeffrey Epstein to rest in peace or RIP.Musk never tweeted this.

Some users noticed that the tweet was nowhere to be found. "Did he delete this," one person asked. Another user tweeted, "Is this real??? I can't find the original." Others joked that it was real, even though it wasn't.

Epstein, a convicted sex offender, was found dead in his jail cell on Aug. 10, 2019. An autopsy ruled it was a suicide by hanging. His death set off a wave of new conspiracy theories.

We previously reported on other rumors concerning Musk and Epstein. Examples include an authentic photo of Musk standing near convicted sex trafficker and Epstein associate Ghislaine Maxwell, a fake tweet in Musk's name in which he purportedly said he missed Maxwell, and a fake map image that supposedly showed a flight path for Musk's jet going to one of Epstein's islands.


Bekiempis, Victoria. "Jeffrey Epstein Charged with Federal Sex Trafficking Crimes." The Guardian, 8 July 2019. The Guardian, https://www.theguardian.com/us-news/2019/jul/08/jeffrey-epstein-sex-trafficking-charges-court.

Hays, Tom, and Larry Neumeister. "Ghislaine Maxwell Convicted in Epstein Sex Abuse Case." The Associated Press, 29 Dec. 2021, https://apnews.com/article/ghislaine-maxwell-convicted-jeffrey-epstein-trial-verdict-63a71a2825eab41184a79e37bb967e90.

Ibrahim, Nur. "Was Jeffrey Epstein Spotted 'Alive and Well' in New Mexico?" Snopes, 15 Dec. 2020, https://www.snopes.com/fact-check/epstein-alive-new-mexico/.

@kennedytcooper. "Did He Just RIP Jeffrey Epstein???" Twitter, 17 May 2023, https://twitter.com/kennedytcooper/status/1658829292464373761.

Klepper, David and Amanda Seitz. "Epstein Suicide Sparks Fresh Round of Conspiracy Theories." The Associated Press, 20 Apr. 2021, https://apnews.com/article/jeffrey-epstein-suicides-donald-trump-us-news-ap-top-news-362e6ccf61014d7fbaeb35e1b5d793a9.

Sisak, Michael R., et al. "Medical Examiner Rules Epstein Death a Suicide by Hanging." The Associated Press, 20 Apr. 2021, https://apnews.com/article/suicides-us-news-ap-top-news-bernard-madoff-new-york-city-a947e0d85d31496eb5bd9ff4994c9718.

Jordan Liles is a Senior Reporter who has been with Snopes since 2016.

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