Fyre Festival Trustee Files 14 Lawsuits Over Payments to Blink-182, Kendall Jenner, Pusha T
The trustee overseeing the Fyre Festival bankruptcy has filed 14 lawsuits against several major talent agencies repping artists that were set to perform at the disastrous event, as well as some influencers who helped promote it on social media, Billboard reports.
The lawsuits seek to get back $14.4 million that Fyre Media and its founder Billy McFarland paid out to stage the festival, and effectively recoup the losses for the fest’s creditors and investors. The subjects of the lawsuit include major agencies like United Talent Agency, Creative Artists Agency, NUE, International Creative Management, Paradigm and IMG, whose clients include the likes of Blink-182, Pusha T, Tyga, Migos, Lil Yachty and Rae Sremmurd. Models Kendall Jenner and Emily Ratajkowski are also being sued for promoting the festival on Instagram, as is Matte Productions, which helped produce a Netflix documentary about Fyre Festival.
Gregory Messer is the trustee overseeing the Fyre Media bankruptcy. When reached for comment, Fred Stevens, the lead attorney for Messer, referred Rolling Stone to the series of lawsuits. Representatives for ICM, Paradigm, IMG, UTA, NUE Matte Productions and Jenner did not immediately return Rolling Stone‘s requests for comment.
With the lawsuits, Messer is seeking to recoup the money paid out to artists who didn’t end up showing at the event. The suit against ICM, for example, centers around $350,000 for a headlining set from an artist with Kanye West’s G.O.O.D. Music, though the suit acknowledges it’s not clear if that artist was “Lil Yachty, and/or Migos, and/or (Rae) Sremmurd.” The lawsuit against NUE lays out payments of $245,000 to Pusha T, $142,500 to Desiigner and $112,500 to Tyga — though it also notes an extra $230,000 in transfers that were completely unaccounted for.
Meanwhile, the suit against CAA alleges that their client, Blink-182, had been paid $500,000 when it canceled its Fyre Fest appearance at the last minute. “The band has retained those funds,” the suit read. “In its cancellation tweet, the band did not disclose to its fans and others any of the problems that it was having with Fyre Festival and its management, or that the Festival appeared to be in serious trouble.” Paradigm and ICM have already begun settlement negotiations.
As for Jenner and Ratajkowski, the two are being sued for taking hundreds of thousands of dollars to promote Fyre Festival on social media. Ratajkowski allegedly accepted $300,000 to promote the festival, while Jenner was allegedly given $270,000. The suit against Jenner accuses her of “intentionally [leading] certain members of the public and ticket purchasers to believe that” Kanye West was going to headline Fyre Festival because she referenced a headliner from her “G.O.O.D. Music Family” in her Instagram caption. “This conduct demonstrates a clear lack of good faith on Jenner’s part,” the suit claims.
The crux of the suit against Matte Productions, who teamed with Jerry Media to produce the Netflix doc, Fyre: The Greatest Party That Never Happened, focuses on the company’s alleged receival of $500,000 to shoot and edit ads for the festival. The suit alleges Matte “used that footage to produce a profitable and popular documentary panning the Festival (without sharing any of the proceeds of that documentary with those victimized by McFarland).”
Messer and Stevens have also filed a lawsuit against Fyre Media, McFarland’s booking app company that was behind the whole festival. The suit against Fyre alleges the company dropped $2.25 million on influencers to promote Fyre Fest, and that McFarland spent $315,645 of investor funds on personal expenses such as “a luxury penthouse apartment, interior design and home furnishings, hotel stays, dining and entertainment, transportation, clothing and other things.”
McFarland is currently serving a six-year prison sentence after pleading guilty to multiple counts of fraud back in 2018.
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