Shaun King Insists He Helped Free U.S. Hostages, Despite Family Pushback |

Family members of the two American hostages released by Hamas on Friday are not familiar with the “activist” who claimed to have facilitated their release, according to an Israeli journalist.

Speculation on social media erupted on Saturday after civil rights activist Shaun King claimed that he helped free a teenage American girl and her mother who were taken hostage by Hamas and later released by the Palestinian militant group.

At least 200 hostages, including as many as 20 Americans, were captured by Hamas during its attack on Israel on October 7, according to Reuters. Two of these American hostages were Judith Raanan, 59, and her daughter Natalie Raanan, 17, of Evanston, Illinois, until they were released on Friday.

Meanwhile in an Instagram post on Friday, King took some credit for the return of Judith and Natalie.

“Hamas has just freed the teenager Natalie Raanan and her mother. I’m grateful. As I said last week, Natalie and her family have been supporters of mine and protested police violence in America alongside us,” he said. “I am also thankful for the Qatari government for helping to negotiate this. Dozens of us worked frantically behind the scenes to help make this possible. I spoke to Natalie’s family this afternoon and they are anxiously awaiting more updates.”

TMZ is reporting things aren’t what King is claiming.

Well, his version of events apparently doesn’t quite align with what the Raanan family’s aware of — ’cause they’re saying they straight up don’t know this guy. The family released a statement, saying … “Today we came across bizarre posts on the Instagram page of one Shaun King, who turns out to have millions of followers, who claims that our relative Natalie Raanan supports the anti-Israeli messages he uploads to his page.”

The family goes on … “First and foremost, we make it clear that he is lying! Our family does not and did not have anything to do with him, neither directly nor indirectly. Not to him and not to anything he claims to represent.” They go on to say Natalie has never met Shaun, and she first learned about him today amid all the speculation … of which there’s been much.

The Raanan family says folks shouldn’t buy what King’s selling … and that his claims amount to misinformation — which they say is spreading like wildfire. They also note they have more family members and loved ones in captivity that they’re working to have released.

Now, as for King … he’s already defending himself by now sharing who exactly he spoke with — and as it turns out, he says it was a brother of Natalie’s … going to post receipts of conversations he says he had with the guy, detailing his efforts to have her freed.

He also claims he just spoke to the Raanan family — presumably the same people who released this blistering statement — and insists they’re being forced to distance themselves from him. So, at this point … there seems to be conflicting accounts over what’s going on.

King has been accused of inserting himself into high-profile situations like these in the past — and there are certainly a lot of folks who don’t believe him. Still, he’s standing firm.

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