Indian tycoon Mukesh Ambani targeted by fake 'gold clothes' photo

As Asia's richest man Mukesh Ambani hosted lavish pre-wedding celebrations for his son, he came under fire on social media over a picture appearing to show him and his wife Nita wearing clothes made of gold. However, the image is manipulated. The original photo shows the pair wearing pink and orange attire at a party in 2019.

"While 800 million people are living off five kilograms of monthly rations from the government, these people pose for photos in their clothes made of gold worth 16 billion," reads a Bengali-language Facebook post that shared the edited photo on May 28, 2024.

The picture appears to show Indian billionaire Mukesh Ambani and his wife Nita Ambani wearing gold-coloured clothes.

Ambani, 67, is chairman of Reliance Industries -- India's biggest company by market capitalisation.

<span>Screenshot of a Facebook post sharing the edited photo, taken June 13, 2024</span>
Screenshot of a Facebook post sharing the edited photo, taken June 13, 2024

The picture surfaced after the couple reportedly hosted a lavish four-day cruise in Italy to celebrate their son Anant's upcoming marriage in July to Radhika Merchant, the daughter of wealthy pharmaceutical moguls (archived link).

The celebration was the second pre-wedding bash after a gala in India in March that saw pop star Rihanna, Facebook founder Mark Zuckerberg and Donald Trump's daughter Ivanka in attendance.

The edited picture has also been shared in India here and here.

The Ambanis' son and his fiancee have also been targeted by similar claims which have been debunked by Indian fact-checking organisations The Quint and Newschecker (archived links here and here).

Diwali celebration

A reverse image search on Google found the original photo, which shows the Ambanis wearing pink and orange outfits as they celebrated the Hindu festival Diwali in 2019.

An Instagram fan page posted the photo on November 12, 2023, including the caption: "#throwback from 2019 Diwali party" (archived link).

<span>Screenshot comparison of the edited image and the original photo</span>
Screenshot comparison of the edited image and the original photo

The couple's facial expressions and Nita's jewellery are the same in both pictures.

<span>Visual similarities between the edited and original picture highlighted by AFP</span>
Visual similarities between the edited and original picture highlighted by AFP

Indian news channel NDTV published a similar photo of the couple wearing the same attire at the Diwali party they hosted at their Mumbai home (archived link).