Keeping Up With the Kardashians’ Kendall Jenner is being sued over her part in the Fyre Festival. In 2017, the model was paid to use her social media accounts to promote insanely priced tickets to the festival, saying that fans could party on Pablo Escobar’s private island.
The Fyre Festival was supposed to be a gathering of young people who collectively wanted to participate in the music and have a good time. Instead, it turned out to be a fraudulent set up that was advertised as a luxury music festival. The festival was founded by Billy McFarland and rapper Ja Rule with the intention of promoting the company’s Fyre app which could be used for booking music talent. The festival was being promoted by social media and their influencers, which included Kendall Jenner, Bella Hadid, and Emily Ratajkowski - all of whom did not disclose they had been paid to advertise Fyre. The music festival was scheduled to take place in April and May of 2017 in the Bahamas but never got a chance.
Two years after the music festival that never was, influencers are now being sued for their part in the hoax. The main argument in the court documents was to try and figure out what happened to the millions of dollars that were lost to the Fyre Festival, and according to Cosmopolitan, this included the fee that the influencers were paid to help promote the event. The event’s trustee, Gregory Messer, had filed documents in New York’s U.S. Bankruptcy Court hoping to recover money paid to the talent agencies, performers, vendors, and other subjects involved in the failed marketing. In the lawsuit, Messer said that Jenner was paid $275,000 for a single post and never disclosed to followers that she was indeed being paid to promote the Fyre Festival. Messer also stated the Jenner intentionally led ticket holders to think that her brother in law, Kanye West, would perform.
Court documents also show that Ratajkowski was paid $299,000 for her help in promoting the botched festival, also having failed to tell her social media followers that she was being paid to advertise. Performers are being named in the lawsuit as well; Blink-182, who did pull out, tweeting to their fans that they were sorry, Lily Yachty, and Pusha T are just the beginning.
It turns out that no matter how much money a young influencer may be able to make, there are consequences for less than moral actions. McFarland, the festival founder, has been sentenced to six years in jail, yet that did not stop the chaos from ensuing. With the models being subpoenaed, hopefully the trustees will be able to speak with them, getting to the bottom of the doomed-from-the-start festival once and for all.
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