FACT-CHECK: Reports that footballer Achraf Hakimi’s wealth is owned by mother could be false
On Friday, April 14, 2023, reports emerged that Moroccan footballer Achraf Hakimi had all his wealth registered under his mother’s name, following a divorce case with his wife Hiba Abouk.
In March, Abouk announced that she had decided to separate from the 25-year-old footballer through a divorce. At the time she made the public announcement, Hakimi, who plays for French side Paris Saint-Germain (PSG), was facing rape allegations.
“After making the decision to legally separate and stop living together, while waiting for the divorce proceedings, who would have imagined that in addition to facing the usual pain that comes with a separation, and accept the grief that comes with the failure of a family project to which I had given body and soul, I would have to face this ignominy,”Abouk said.
Three weeks after she made the announcement, Ugandan tabloid News 24/7 floated reports that Hakimi had all his wealth under his mother’s name.
“Footballer Achraf Hakimi’s wife filed for divorce and demanded half of his property. She was however informed by court that her “Millionaire’ husband owns nothing as all his property is registered under his mother’s names.
“Hakimi receives €1 Million from PSG monthly but 80% of this is deposited in his mother Mrs. Fatima’s account. He has no property, cars, houses, Jewelry or even clothes in his name. Anytime, he wants anything, he asks his mother who buys it for him,”The tabloid wrote.
Several other media houses; both local and international, have since carried the story as true.
Investigations on the reports found that the allegations do not meet the journalistic standards to make it acceptable as the absolute truth.
First, Abouk officially filed the divorce case openly on Friday, April 14, 2023, moments before the reports emerged. The reports indicated that “the court informed her that her millionaire husband owns nothing”.
The court might not be in a position to give such information, since the case had not reached hearing stages, where such information could be revealed. There are also no indications that Hakimi had filed his response, which could lay bare such information.
Journalistically, media houses should give a right of reply to all parties mentioned in such a story. The media houses which published the story did not reach out or even attempt to reach out to Hakimi, Abouk or Hakimi’s mother. Under journalistic ethics, such a story cannot pass to be true.
Sources of the Hakimi story
The primary source of such a story could be court documents, court proceedings, sources close to the subjects or statements made by those involved. The story did not have court excerpts from court papers or proceedings or even, at least, quotes of anonymous sources.
Such a story remains to be unbalanced, or in the extremes, rumours.
Investigation also checked publications across Morocco, the home country for Hakimi, but none had the story. Also, by the time of going to press, no Moroccan authority had issued a statement concerning the same.
Authorities in France including his club, PSG, had not issued official statements concerning the star’s wealth. The French media also did not cover the wealth story.
Having failed the above journalistic tests, the story that Hakimi has most of his wealth under his mother’s name remains rumours which cannot be confirmed through online sources.