Stand up for the facts!
Our only agenda is to publish the truth so you can be an informed participant in democracy.
We need your help.
I would like to contribute
If Your Time is short
Princess Diana died after a car crash and actor Heath Ledger died of a drug overdose.
Musician John Lennon was assassinated, but not for "exposing the truth."
Learn more about PolitiFact's fact-checking process and rating system.
A recent Facebook post suggests a nefarious plot to eliminate certain celebrities who had the courage to undermine the status quo.
"These celebrities were killed for exposing the truth," reads text in a Sept. 11 Facebook video that then shows photos of Princess Diana, actor Heath Ledger and musician John Lennon.
This post was flagged as part of Meta’s efforts to combat false news and misinformation on its News Feed. (Read more about our partnership with Meta, which owns Facebook and Instagram.)
Diana died in August 1997 after sustaining injuries in a Paris car crash. A jury later found that she was killed by the negligent driving of her chauffeur and the paparazzi pursuing the car she was in.
Ledger died in January 2008 from a drug overdose. Doctors who had prescribed him painkillers were cleared of wrongdoing in his death.
Lennon was shot and killed in December 1980 by Mark David Chapman. ABC News reported in 2020 that Chapman told parole commissioners that "at the time, my thinking was he has all of this money, lives in this beautiful apartment and he is into music representing a more cautious lifestyle, a more giving lifestyle. It made me angry and jealous compared to the way I was living at the time. There was jealousy there."
Chapman also said he was seeking "glory" for himself, ABC said.
Two years later, Chapman told the parole board, "I knew what I was doing, and I knew it was evil. I knew it was wrong, but I wanted the fame so much that I was willing to give everything and take a human life."
We rate claims Diana, Ledger and Lennon were killed for "exposing the truth" False.
Facebook post, Sept. 11, 2023
ABC News, Mark David Chapman, man who killed John Lennon, said in parole hearing he wanted 'glory,’ Sept. 21, 2020
Sky News, John Lennon's killer admits he knew the act was 'evil' but he 'wanted the fame too much,’ Nov. 7, 2022
ABC News, MDs Cleared of Wrongdoing in Ledger Death, Feb. 29, 2008
CBC News, Paparazzi, chauffeur caused Diana's death, jury rules, April 7, 2008
NPR, Princess Diana showed the world how to use celebrity for good, Aug. 31, 2022
Read About Our Process
In a world of wild talk and fake news, help us stand up for the facts.