Models Who Promoted Fyre Festival Will Be Subpoenaed Over Possible Millions in Payments: Reports
The models who received money to help promote the failed Fyre Festival will be forced to reveal information about how much they were paid for their services, according to a new court filing reviewed by multiple outlets.
On Monday, a judge granted an ex parte order in favor of Fyre Festival trustee Gregory Messer — who is overseeing the bankruptcy of Fyre Media — to issue subpoenas to many celebrities, including Kendall Jenner, Bella Hadid, Hailey Baldwin and Emily Ratajkowski, who appeared in a buzzy promotional video shot in the Bahamas or shared Instagram posts positively advertising the festival, the Daily Mail reported.
An ex parte order refers to a ruling made “on the request of and for the benefit of one party only,” according to People’s Law Dictionary.
The request to issue the new group of subpoenas was made on Friday, Messer confirmed to PEOPLE, though he had no comment on if the ex parte order had been granted.
IMG Models, which represents numerous models who promoted the disastrous 2017 festival, including Hadid, Baldwin and Victoria’s Secret Angel Elsa Hosk, was among the list of organizations that will receive subpoenas, as will DNA Model Management, which represents Ratajkowski.
The trustee has said IMG received $1.2 million from the festival’s founder Billy McFarland between November 2016 and February 2017, and DNA received $299,000 from McFarland in March 2017, according to Billboard.
“The Trustee believes that these transfers were made from funds that belong to the Debtor in connection with the Fyre Festival,” court papers obtained by the New York Post‘s Page Six state. The paper reports Messner is attempting to account for $5.2 million of the estimated $26 million in investor funds McFarland is believed to have spent ahead of the doomed festival.
DNA did not immediately return PEOPLE’s request for comment, while IMG Models had no comment.
Messer is also looking into what he claims was a $250,000 payment made to Jenner that January. In a since-deleted Instagram post, Jenner announced that artists from G.O.O.D. Music — the record label founded by Kanye West — would be headlining the festival. However, the post made no mention that she had been paid to post it, according to Billboard.
The purpose of the subpoenas is to determine what happened to the millions of dollars McFarland raised from investors, a collective $26 million, to finance the festival.
Jerry Media, an agency which was responsible for the social media promotion of the festival, will also be issued a subpoena.
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The disaster that was Fyre Festival gripped the internet when the event fell apart in April 2017. Now, with both Hulu and Netflix releasing documentaries about the rise and fall of the festival, viewers have even more questions about why McFarland, his partner Ja Rule and Fyre CMO Grant Margolin thought the event would be feasible in less than six months.
Although the event was sold as a luxury music experience held on Pablo Escobar’s former island in the Bahamas, guests arrived to find no luxurious housing, no gourmet meals and no musical acts.
Hadid previously apologized for her role in promoting the festival in a since-deleted Twitter post.
“Even though this was not my project what so ever, 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,” she wrote. “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.”
“I am incredibly sorry for my collective actions and will right the wrongs I have delivered to my family, friends, partners, associates and, you, the general public,” he said. “I’ve always sought — and dreamed — to accomplish incredible things by pushing the envelope to deliver for a common good, but I made many wrong and immature decisions along the way and I caused agony. As a result, I’ve lived every day in prison with pain, and I will continue to do so until I am able to make up for some of this harm through work and actions that society finds respectable.”