Fact Check

Usain Bolt, Shakira Donated Millions to Haiti After Hurricane Matthew

Fake news articles inaccurately credited Jamaican sprinter Usain Bolt and Colombian singer Shakira with millions of dollars in donations to the hurricane-ravaged nation of Haiti.

Published Oct 9, 2016

Usain Bolt donated $10 million and Shakira donated $15 million to help rebuild Haiti after Hurricane Matthew.

On 8 October 2016, an article on the web site Da1lymail.com reported that Jamaican Olympic sprinter Usain Bolt donated $10 million to the nation of Haiti in the wake of devastation caused by Hurricane Matthew earlier that week:

Jamaican Sprinter Usain Bolt has donated 10 million dollars to help rebuild Haiti, after the island nation wasslammed [sic] by Hurricane Matthew this week.

The donation which will be utilized through his foundation was announced today after he travelled to Haiti to ascertain the damage caused by the hurricane.

The information, replicated on other sites such as 3jamaica.com, us.blastingnews.com, and voice-online.co.uk, was incorrect, however. Like a previous instance of false reporting on Bolt's charitable activities, the story was a hoax created to amass web traffic and ad revenues.

The web site's URL — Da1lyMail.com — mimics that of an actual online news site (DailyMail.com), but with the numeral "1" substituted for the first "i" in the domain name. Da1lyMail.com has a reputation for publishing trashy satirical news stories, including an article defaming Usain Bolt, "Police Issue Arrest Warrant for Usain Bolt for Defiling 14 Year Old Girl."

On the same day, other fake news web sites published similar articles stating that pop singer Shakira donated $15 million to help Haiti:

Colombian singer and dancer Shakira has made a donation of 15 million dollars towards the rebuilding of Haiti which suffered the wrath of Hurricane Matthew this week.

Jamaican Sprinter Usain Bolt is also reported to have donated.

Shakira's donation was made through his [sic] newly launched Shakira Foundation and it would oversee the rebuilding of the island.

While Shakira has visited Haiti in the past and contributed to its rebuilding after the 2010 earthquake, the more recent stories about her donating millions to Haitian hurricane relief — like those about Usain Bolt — are pure fiction.

David Emery is a West Coast-based writer and editor with 25 years of experience fact-checking rumors, hoaxes, and contemporary legends.