Rumors About The Obama Family That Have Been Firmly Debunked

The Obamas have become one of the most famous African-American families in the world, primarily due to Barack Obama's tenure as President of the United States from 2009 to 2017. Barack's election as the first Black president was a significant milestone, celebrated as a win for diversity and minority groups. However, it also sparked controversy and was not accepted by everyone, especially some Republican supporters.

Like many in positions of power, the Obama family found themselves at the center of public scrutiny. Michelle and Barack Obama's stunning relationship was constantly in the limelight, with every action, outfit, and word being closely examined by both supporters and critics. This intense scrutiny made the Obamas vulnerable to a lack of privacy and intentional misrepresentation in the media. Among the numerous public discussions, several rumors stood out that have since been firmly debunked. Let's delve into some of these rumors and reveal the truths behind them.

Barack Obama was falsely rumored to be a Muslim

Before Barack Obama campaigned for the White House, there were false claims that he was a Muslim. Pew Research indicated that the rumors of Barack's religion started in 2004 and gained prominence in 2008, during the election period. Despite his middle name having an Arabic origin, Barack Hussein Obama has often been identified as Christian. However, some confused his ethnicity with his religion, making the rumor a hot topic.

On July 21, 2008, the rumor was featured on the cover of the New Yorker. The cover depicted a caricature of Barack dressed in traditional Muslim attire and Michelle Obama with an AK-47 slung over her shoulder. Additionally, there was a framed photo of famous al-Qaeda leader Osama Bin Laden in the backdrop. While the magazine editor David Remnick claimed that the publication was trying to combat the rumors, many Americans called for a boycott of the paper (via Wired).

Barack finally dispelled the rumors in 2010 by explaining during a state tour that he was a Christian, per The New York Times. The former president also added that he was a Christian because the life of Jesus Christ was one he wanted to emulate. He has also been pictured attending various churches, including St. John's Episcopal Church in 2010, Zion Baptist Church in 2012, and Lilydale First Baptist Church in 2023. Barack's involvement in the death of Bin Laden in 2011 also helped dispel the rumors.

People thought Malia Obama had a child with rapper Future

Malia Obama, the eldest daughter of Barack and Michelle Obama, has not been spared from the rumor mills that often target her family. Despite her parents' praise for her wisdom and good choices, Malia Obama has been the victim of multiple fake pregnancy rumors. The first featured false comments by the then 16-year-old, stating that she'd gotten pregnant by an unnamed white man who had dumped her for a blonde in 2014. However, that story was first published by the infamous satire site Empire News, though some didn't realize it was supposed to be a joke.

A new fake story sprung up in September 2022, and this time, the former first daughter was paired with famous American rapper Future, whose real name is Nayvadius DeMun Cash. The rapper has eight children with eight women, and Malia was rumored to be his ninth.

This baseless rumor was initially spread by a now-deleted Instagram account, Rapstreet TV, which purported the rumor and posted a photo collage of Malia and Future (via HITC). However, this rumor lacked any credible foundation. There were no indications of a pregnancy or any verifiable connection between Malia and Future. As with previous rumors, this one eventually subsided, proving its lack of substance.

Suspicious sources claimed Michelle Obama's mom would receive a pension for living in the White House

The rumors surrounding the Obamas broadened to the extended family in the penultimate year of his presidency. Michelle Obama's mother, Marian Robinson, made headlines with allegations that she was going to receive a lifetime annual government pension worth $160,000.

Grandma Robinson lived in the White House, assisting with caring for her granddaughters, Malia and Sasha. This was the basis of the false allegations that she would be paid a pension from American taxpayers' funds. Furthermore, the articles contained violence-inciting statements like, "We will riot," hinting at their lack of goodwill (via ABC News).

However, these headlines were false and have since been taken down. A significant oversight by these sites was that only the former president, Barack, is owed an annual pension by the United States government. No other member of the Obama family can or will be paid by the government as they did not serve in a political office.

There were rumors Sasha Obama crashed a $1 million Bugatti into a lake

The youngest Obama, Sasha, has also been a victim of baseless and distasteful rumors. In December 2017, almost a year after Barack Obama's presidency ended, Facebook was awash with rumors of an alleged car crash involving Sasha. The rumors, originating from a website named "Defense USA," claimed that Barack had bought a Bugatti Veyron for his youngest daughter at Christmas and that she'd crashed it into Washington's Lake Hope before calling the police (via Politifact). 

Defense USA cited the Washington Times Herald as a source, but unsurprisingly, there is no such article on the reputable site. The phony page also claimed Sasha smelled of marijuana but added that none was found in the car. This rumor is clearly false. Defense USA alleged the crash happened in Lake Hope near Washington, but a quick search reveals that Lake Hope is actually in Ohio, not DC. There is a distance of over 400 miles between the locations.

These sites clearly capitalized on Sasha and Malia Obama's lavish lifestyle, even though there were also no credible reports of Obama purchasing a Bugatti for his youngest daughter. Furthermore, the header image used was from another story about insurance fraud, dated 2009 (via Snopes). Lastly, the Defense USA site is currently listed as "for sale," indicating that the publication was probably not legitimate.

Multiple news sites claimed that Michelle and Barack Obama were planning to divorce

Over the years, multiple rumors have circulated about a potential split between Michelle and Barack Obama, who have been married since 1992. In 2019, Magzter published a story, allegedly sourced from Globe Magazine, claiming that a divorce was imminent. This story claimed that Michelle demanded "alimony, child support, and the couple's new Martha's Vineyard mansion," along with a significant portion of their "$150 million fortune."

In a similar vein, the satire site Empire News ran a story in 2020, humorously claiming a split was in the works due to Barack being gay. Later, in 2022, the International Business Times UK reported that the couple had agreed to separate and were living apart. Interestingly, IBT also cited Globe Magazine, a gossip magazine known to favor sensationalism over facts. Not surprisingly, these rumors have proven unfounded.

On October 3, 2023, over four years since the rumors began, Michelle and Barack celebrated their anniversary on social media. Michelle posted a picture on Instagram with the caption, "31 years, and a lifetime to go. I love going through life with you by my side," while Barack's post read, "Happy anniversary, sweetheart! ... I'm lucky to call you mine." Michelle Obama's wise advice to newly married couples also shows that the couple is committed to their union. Furthermore, in a December 2022 interview on Revolt, Michelle reflected on the importance of working through challenges in marriage, suggesting that divorce is not in this power couple's plans.