Models and influencers, including Kendall Jenner, Bella Hadid, and Emily Ratajkowski, have been ordered to appear in court regarding the infamous Fyre Festival scam, the New York Post is reporting. At least five celebrities have been subpoenaed and must testify about the payments they received to promote the failed luxury weekend. According to court papers filed in Manhattan federal bankruptcy court, authorities are currently investigating what happened to around $26 million that festival organizer Billy McFarland spent in the months preceding the event.
There is also a subpoena specifically for IGM Models, the agency that represents Hadid as well as other big names in the modeling industry such as Hailey Bieber and Elsa Hosk. In the spring of 2017, the company’s models participated in a promotional video that showed them frolicking in the Caribbean.
As for Jenner, she was allegedly paid $250,000 to make an Instagram post about Kanye West’s posse G.O.O.D Music performing at the event. This post has since been deleted.
According to Business Insider, IGM Models and another agency, DNA Model Management, are said to have been paid up to $1.5 million for the use of their models for promotion of Fyre Festival. Trustee Gregory Messer is reportedly also urging the judge overseeing the case to issue subpoenas to other management agencies and musicians who worked for the festival. Fyre was advertised as an exclusive music festival on Great Exuma in the Bahamas over two weekends in April and May 2017.
Tickets for the event cost anywhere between $1,200 and $100,000, depending on the amount of luxurious accommodations. The festival was supposed to be a paradise, where guests could fly in from Miami and stay in extravagant places while enjoying gourmet food and the most famous of musicians. Instead, guests were met with incomplete huts and tents, and provided cold cheese sandwiches as a meal. The scandal was so infamous that two documentaries were made about it: Fyre, available on Hulu, and Fyre Fraud, available on Netflix.
McFarland, the 27-year-old who founded Fyre Media, pleaded guilty to charges of defrauding investors out of more than $27.4 million. He was sentenced to six years in prison in October of 2018.
According to the official filing obtained by the press, McFarland “spent tremendous amounts of time and borrowed money promoting the Festival through YouTube videos and social media promotions featuring famous celebrities. As a result of this advertising and promotional blitz, thousands of people purchased tickets to the Festival.”
Check out the original promotional video below.