Considering their status as one of the most important and influential couples in the world today, it’s no surprise that Barack and Michelle Obama have been the target of untrue rumors. Putting all politics aside, one of the most common allegations is that the former first couple is divorcing. Here are a few of those stories that Gossip Cop has corrected.
In July 2017, RadarOnline accused Barack of wanting to “cut loose and party” without his wife. After the former president was spotted in an airport without his wedding ring, the gossip site published multiple rumors about the state of his marriage. The outlet claimed he had “kicked wife Michelle to the curb” and “yanked off his wedding ring.” The blog cited anonymous sources, who said the marriage was effectively a sham that was over now that Barack was out of office and their daughters were older. The outlet even claimed Michelle had “secretly agreed to a $25 million divorce deal.”
However, Gossip Cop found nothing to support the tabloid’s outlandish story. Instead, all we could find were reports confirming the two were enjoying their time together outside of the White House, and laughter from sources upon hearing that RadarOnline claimed to have an “insider” with the Obamas. As we pointed out in future stories based on the missing wedding ring, Barack removes it during public events to avoid losing it. He only wears it when he knows he won’t have to shake hands or meet with strangers.
This past October, one of RadarOnline’s sister publications, the Globe, claimed Barack and Michelle were fighting through a $150 million divorce. Again, Barack’s “missing” ring is touted as evidence of something being amiss in the Obama household. According to an anonymous tipster, Barack ripped off his wedding ring in an argument with Michelle over her career and threw it at her. The only proof of this confrontation, however, is the fact that Barack wasn’t wearing his ring during a speaking engagement a few weeks prior to the tabloid’s story.
The magazine also claimed Michelle was plotting to get revenge on her husband by running for president and serving as a “much better Commander-in-Chief.” The tabloid then confusingly added that Michelle also wanted her own television show and refused to “give up her dreams of Hollywood stardom,” despite Barack allegedly rejecting a move to Los Angeles. The outlet never clarified how Michelle was supposed to simultaneously reside in the White House and Hollywood.
Regardless, the entire story was purely fiction. As we mentioned, Barack removes his ring when he’s meeting with folks, so its absence is nothing newsworthy. Michelle herself has adamantly rejected the idea that she might run for the White House someday, and she’s expressed no interest in hosting a talk show or anything similar. With no legal documents or official news, there wasn’t a single reason to believe in any part of the article.
Earlier this month, the Globe tried again with a story about Barack “slapping” Michelle with divorce papers. Once again, the tabloid argued that Barack and Michelle were headed for a divorce after they were both spotted without rings. The outlet claimed Barack was fed up with his “toxic marriage of convenience” to Michelle, and after allegedly hearing about his wife working on divorce documents, he hit her with his own divorce papers before she could get hers completed.
The tabloid’s unreliable sources claimed the two were bound for a brutal battle over finances, with Michelle “conspiring with her lawyers to squeeze Barack for as much money as she can.” The magazine even said its prior report about Barack throwing his ring at Michelle counted as evidence of the supposed split.
Gossip Cop pointed out that we had already debunked the first divorce rumor, making the follow-up story equally untrue. We’ve thoroughly covered Barack’s ring-wearing policies, and the only photo of Michelle without hers was when she was working out with heavy weights. Both Obamas have since been seen with their wedding rings in place. The couple also co-hosted their annual Obama Foundation Summit just last week. The former president and first lady remain happily married, but considering how high profile the couple is, we don’t suspect the divorce rumors to stop anytime soon.