After being hit by a $100 million class lawsuit, filed by celebrity lawyer Mark Geragos in the immediate aftermath of the Fyre fiasco, Ja Rule and Billy McFarland are the target of another suit that accuses the duo of breach of contract, fraud and negligent representation.
The Fyre Festival promised attendees an exclusive musical experience on a private Bahamian island featuring villa lodging, celebrity chef-crafted meals and music by artists like Blink-182, Migos, Major Lazer and more. Instead, early arrivers discovered FEMA tents, a site woefully short on basic amenities, cancelled headliners and the now-viral photo of cheese and bread.
“As Plaintiffs began to grasp the dire nature of the situation, upon witnessing the complete lack of infrastructure necessary to host such an event, a panic enveloped the crowd,” personal injury lawyer John Girardi wrote in the latest class action suit, filed on behalf of three women who briefly attended Fyre, the Hollywood Reporter writes.
As noted in both lawsuits, organizers’ insistence that attendees deposit money into their festival wristbands, as opposed to carrying cash or credit, posed a major problem when festivalgoers began absconding from Fyre en masse. “Plaintiffs were stuck on the island, with no way off,” Girardi wrote.
Representatives for Fyre Festival and Girardi did not immediately reply to requests for comment.
“We are in the process of helping all Fyre Festival guests apply for refunds,” a member of the festival’s management team told Rolling Stone Monday after the first lawsuit was filed. “All guests who purchased tickets have been sent the appropriate form to start the refund procedure. The Fyre Festival is a dream and vision that we regrettably did not see come to life how we’d imagined in 2017, but our main priority now is rectifying the situation and helping all affected guests.”
The new class action lawsuit, filed at Los Angeles County Court on Tuesday, also accuses the Fyre organizers of violating Federal Trade Commission regulations by having social media “influencers” – like models Bella Hadid, Kendall Jenner and Emily Ratajkowski – hype the fest without acknowledging they were paid to promote Fyre.
“Even though this was not my project whatsoever, nor was I informed about the production or process of the festival in any shape or form, I do know that it has always been out of great intent and they truly wanted all of us to have the time of our lives,” Hadid said in a statement. “I initially trusted this would be an amazing & memorable experience for all of us, which is why I agreed to do one promotion … not knowing about the disaster that was to come … I feel so sorry and badly because this is something I couldn’t stand by, although of course if I would have known about the outcome, you would have all known too.”
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Girardi’s lawsuit is open to anyone who purchased tickets for Fyre, even those who were stuck at U.S. airports and never reached the festival site before it was ultimately cancelled on Saturday. Plaintiffs are seeking unspecified restitution, punitive damages and a ban to prevent Ja Rule and McFarland from embarking on “similar conduct,” which could threaten the duo’s promised 2018 festival.
Organizers “postpone” two-weekend Bahamas fest following reports of feral dogs, threatening security, shoddy housing. Watch here.