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Fact-Check: Viral Achraf Hakimi – Hiba Abouk divorce settlement posts fake

Claim: Numerous reports on social media, as well as some online platforms, says the wife of PSG football star Achraf Hakimi demanded more than half the properties owned by Hakimi as part of her divorce settlement, only to be told that the majority of the properties had been registered in the name of Hakimi’s mother. 

Verdict: False! Thorough DUBAWA investigations reveal the post originally emanated from a parody account before going viral across many countries.

Full Text

Social media platforms, including Facebook, have been flooded with posts suggesting that Hiba Abouk, wife of PSG footballer star Achraf Hakimi, had filed for divorce and demanded half of her husband’s properties.

The post further claimed that during divorce proceedings, it emerged that Hakimi had registered all his property under his mother’s name, and 80% of his claimed €1m monthly payouts from PSG were deposited in his mother’s account. 

The Facebook post in summary stated:

The wife of the player Achraf Hakimi filed for divorce and wanted more than half of the properties and fortune of the Moroccan footballer. He’s one of the highest-paid players in Ligue 1, earning more than a million euros a month. So the ex-wife would have hit the jackpot. But when they got to court, they realised that Ashraf Hakimi had no assets, and neither did the bank.

Achraf Hakimi had put all his fortune in his mother’s name long ago,” the post (translated from French to English) read. 

The post has gone viral and formed the basis for many news website publications on international websites such as this, this and this.

The local online platforms in Ghana were not left out of the Hakimi craze, as seen here and here.

Despite the virality, there were several red flags about the post, which demanded the attention of DUBAWA.

First and foremost, most of the globally acclaimed credible media houses did not publish the viral report of the young Moroccan star and his wife, except for the report about Hakimi being investigated over rape allegations in France.

Only Marca did, and the source of their story raised more questions. 

So what is the source of the claim?

Using Crowdtangle, DUBAWA searched all public mentions of ‘Achraf Hakimi’ between April 7 and April 14, 2023, and the oldest post that captures the viral information is attributed to a page Papa Ado.

The page posted the material at 8:08 pm on April 13, 2023, and has since garnered over 76,000 reactions to date.

Facebook’s transparency feature shows that the page is managed from Ivory Coast and has nearly 450,000 followers. The owners, however, state in the page’s description that they are the parody account of Ivory Coast’s president Alassane Ouattara and are mainly for “Humour & Satire,” as can be seen in the screenshot below.

Records from Crowdtangle show that several other Facebook pages republished that exact post by Papa Ado minutes after, like this, which was published at 8:12 pm and this at 8:14 pm.

Collage from Crowdtangle showing different pages that have reposted the information. Generated April 14, 2023. 

Most early pages that subsequently shared the information were from Ivory Coast.

Records from Crowdtangle further show that pages managed in Ghana, Nigeria, Uganda, South Africa, Kenya and many other African countries, including the Central African Republic, have republished the information, with some giving additional unsubstantiated twists. 

Using Twitter’s advanced search feature, the original source of information was traced to First Mag Le Vrai – which tweeted it at 9:12 pm on April 13, 2023, – about an hour after the Papa Ado Facebook page had made the post. 

Its tweet has since reached 9 million people and received over 100,000 reactions.

The account, which has over 419,000 followers and its affiliate, is operated from Ivory Coast.

A mapping of the network associated with the use of the term ‘Achraf Hakimi’ over the last seven days on Twitter revealed First Mag as the primary or more influential source of viral information on social media.   

Source: Hoaxy. Nodes show the information network spread on Achraf Hakimi’s supposed divorce case, with the biggest node having First Mag at the centre. Generated April 14, 2023. 

Fact-Finding

DUBAWA contacted the Papa Ado Facebook page’s managers to inquire about their publication’s source but received no response. 

A screenshot of a Facebook inquiry was sent to Papa Ado’s page to know the source of the viral information. April 15, 2023.

Achraf Hakimi’s separation from wife

The young footballer’s wife, Hiba Abouk, 36, with whom he has two children, announced last month that she had been separated from the footballer for a while and was pending formal divorce proceedings.

She said the separation preceded a March 2 announcement by the Nanterre prosecutor’s office that the footballer was being investigated for the rape of a 24-year-old woman.

“The reality is that a while ago, after much reflection, the father of my children and I decided to end our relationship, long before the recent media events involving me, which are external,” she said.

Achraf Hakimi’s lawyer, Fanny Colin, told French publication L’Équipe that her client had denied the allegation.

French law

According to Expatriate Law, a specialist team of international divorce and family lawyers, the default position of French law where a couple has not entered into a prenuptial agreement or a specific matrimonial regime, 

“the assets the parties acquired during the marriage will be split equally on divorce. However, anything acquired before the marriage will remain with the owner.”

In this case, the couple has a ‘contrat de mariage’ (prenuptial agreement) that is followed. 

Spanish law

Similarly, Spanish common law (the código civil) considered a 50%-50% split of assets acquired jointly during the marriage, according to BCN-advisors.

“If the código civil applies to your divorce case, expect each spouse to retain 50% of the property rights. There are exceptions for private assets possessed before the marriage and assets obtained during the marriage. Still, without payment (e.g. inheritances), personal damages, equipment or assets necessary for trade or professions, and any clothes and personal belongings not of extraordinary value.” 

With the above explanations, it is almost impossible for any lawyer versed in the laws of Spain – where the couple grew up or France – where Achraf Hakimi lives to demand 80% of the footballer’s wealth for his wife, Hiba Abouk.  

There is yet to be any official information about a divorce proceeding involving the footballer and his wife within which the controversial claim of her demand for half his fortune was made.

An email and Twitter message inquiry to Achraf’s lawyer, Fanny Colin, have been received but are yet to be responded to.

Implications

The nature of the spread and commentary that has followed the fake information has triggered a wave of misogynistic comments targeted at Hiba Abouk and women in general. It has further encouraged married men to act similarly to their partners. Largely common in the barrage of maligning comments towards Hiba Abouk is the reference to her as a “gold digger,” as amplified in posts like this and this.  

In conclusion, from DUBAWA’s investigation, there is no evidence supporting the claim that Hakimi has registered a larger chunk of his property in his mother’s name to prevent his wife from acquiring a portion of the property after the divorce. The Facebook page that first posted the content is a parody page. 

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5 Comments

  1. Awsome work! I’m doing a research on this piece of news and I would like to ask you if you could provide me a link or an image of the origin post from the first mag. I have searched for it online but it seems like it has been deleted. I have to confess that I haven’t undestand the image generated from Haoxy, could yoe explain it to me?
    Thank you for your disponibility.

  2. Confused because you say no major outlets have reported this yet there has been reports of it from major outlets. There’s one in Fox News?

  3. Fox News is not a reliable source, they’re a conservative news network that regularly pumps out misinformation. They’d of course be eager to pump out a supposed news piece if it meant that it could denigrate women and women’s rights.

    Also the Fox News article does not cite any reliable sources.

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