Kendall Jenner and Fyre Festival's Other Influencers Are Getting Subpoenad
Whether you prefer the Hulu or Netflix documentary take on the Fyre Festival disaster, rest assured that the drama surrounding the scam isn't over yet. The fallout from Fyre—which swindled hundreds of attendees into paying thousands of dollars for tickets to what they thought would be an all-inclusive luxury weekend getaway on a private island in the Bahamas with performances from artists like Blink-182, G.O.O.D. Music, Major Lazer, and Migos—continues to unravel as attorneys attempt to sort out where the millions of dollars paid out by the now-imprisoned festival founder Billy McFarland actually went.
It's not surprising, but according to Billboard, agencies that represent models like Kendall Jenner and Bella Hadid will reportedly be subpoenaed for their unwitting participation in one of the biggest scams of the decade.
Hadid, Jenner, and other models including Emily Ratajkowski and Hailey Bieber did not actually attend the Fyre Festival in 2017, but there are still a few details of the fiasco that have yet to be ironed out. Most notably, attorneys are wondering what happened to the millions of dollars that Fyre Festival founder Billy McFarland paid to various individuals and agencies before the festival. Paradigm, an agency that represents artists who were booked to perform at Fyre Festival reportedly received payments of $1.4 million, but nobody seems to know exactly what happened to all of the money or to whom it actually went. Jenner is set to receive a subpoena for her part in a $11.3 million payout from McFarland, and IMG Models will get hit with a subpoena regarding $1.2 million and the promotional videos that involved their clients including Hadid, Bieber, and Elsa Hosk. DNA Model Management, which represents Ratajkowski and other artists who promoted the festival on social media in the months leading up to its actual date, will also likely be subpoenaed, along with United Talent Agency, CAA, ICM Partners, Soulja Boy, and Waka Flocka Flame. Some $26 million was reportedly paid by Fyre Media to a handful of agencies, brands, influencers, and musicians who participated in promotional videos and sponsored social media posts that played a large part in stirring up the initial Fyre phenomenon, but where that money actually came from or where it went once it left McFarland's hands remains a mystery.
Jenner and her legal team are going to get hit especially hard, as Gregory Messer, the bankruptcy trustee orchestrating the subpoenas, plans to give the model a separate summoning for insisting via Instagram that Kanye West and other G.O.O.D. Music members would perform during Fyre Festival. This was apparently a big no-no, because Jenner did not disclose that she was paid (a reported $250,000) for the post that she has since deleted, and the Federal Trade Commission subsequently warned influencers and brands about being clear with their brand partnerships and sponsored posts.
Recent dueling documentaries about the fiasco—including Hulu's Fyre Fraud and Netflix's Fyre: The Greatest Party That Never Happened, which was produced in conjunction with Vice and Jerry Media, the social media agency that McFarland hired to promote the festival in 2016 and 2017—reveal how the disaster went down, and how the proposed luxury weekend turned out to be a half-baked plan bolstered by Ja Rule that ended with a bunch of influencers trapped on an island with cheese sandwiches and emergency tents to sleep in, prompting a bevy of schadenfreude-laden memes. Jerry Media will also be subpoenaed by Messer, though there are currently disputes regarding the exact dollar amount (either $30,000 or $90,000, depending on who you ask) the agency was paid by McFarland and Fyre Media.
And maybe the biggest surprise in this endlessly evolving disaster? Ja Rule is still getting off scot-free (for now).
Related: Which Fyre Festival Memes Are Better: The Actual Calamity or the Documentaries?
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