Fact Check

Former NCAA Swimmer Riley Gaines Wins $10M 'Defamation Lawsuit' Against Whoopi Goldberg?

We've previously fact-checked other "reports" that supposedly connected Gaines and Goldberg.

Published April 3, 2024

 (From left to right, John Nacion/Variety via Getty Images and Drew Angerer/Getty Images.)
Image Via From left to right, John Nacion/Variety via Getty Images and Drew Angerer/Getty Images.
Former NCAA athlete Riley Gaines won a $10 million "defamation lawsuit" against TV talk show host Whoopi Goldberg.

In April 2024, a claim began to spread across X (formerly Twitter) that former NCAA swimmer Riley Gaines had won a $10 million "defamation lawsuit" against "The View" co-host Whoopi Goldberg.

"Who's glad she finally got Justice?" one such post on the social media platform said. Attached to the post was a graphic that asked people to leave a thumbs-up if they were glad Gaines "got justice," along with a headline that repeated the claim.

Besides the X posts, we found a post on TikTok from March 2024 that spread the claim as well. 

The claim spread from an October 2023 article published by SpaceXMania that said:

Breaking: Riley Gaines Wins $10 Million 'Defamation Lawsuit' Against Whoopi Goldberg

In a narrative that has threaded its way through courts, television studios, and the ever-buzzing hive of social media, Riley Gaines, a name now synonymous with legal victory, has ascended the proverbial podium once again. This time, she is not just basking in the ethereal glow of athletic accomplishment but is swathed in the vindication that comes from a triumph of a different sort—a whopping $10 million defamation lawsuit win against Whoopi Goldberg.

We found Facebook posts that included the article, as well as a YouTube video that nearly copied the SpaceXMania article word-for-word. In addition, multiple websites copied the SpaceXMania article in the same manner, including popularnews71.net/, newsc5.com, newsbina.fun, faithhopel.info, and lifestory25.com.

This story is not true. As originally published, the SpaceXMania article featured a "Satire" label above its headline. SpaceXMania describes its output as being humorous or satirical in nature, as follows:

Please note that the article under the category "SATIRE" are satirical in nature and are not meant to be taken seriously. These articles are meant to be humorous and are often entirely made up. We make no claim that the information presented in these articles is true or accurate.

We've previously fact-checked other satirical reports that have connected Gaines and Goldberg, such as the claim that Gaines and conservative influencer Candace Owens joined forces to "destroy" Goldberg

For background, here is why we sometimes write about satire/humor.


C&ace Owens Archives | Snopes.Com. https://www.snopes.com/tag/candace-owens/. Accessed 19 Oct. 2023.

Disclaimer - SpaceXMania. 3 Jan. 2021, https://spacexmania.com/disclaimer/.

Mikkelson, David. "Why We Include Humor and Satire in Snopes.Com." Snopes, 15 Aug. 2019, https://www.snopes.com/notes/why-we-include-humor-and-satire-in-snopes-com/.

Izz Scott LaMagdeleine is a fact-checker for Snopes.