Kendall Jenner and Blink-182 Named In ‘Fyre Fraud’ Lawsuits

Published on August 30, 2019

Now, the bankruptcy proceedings surrounding 2017’s Fyre Festival are heating up. On Wednesday, Gregory Messer, the court-appointed liquidation trustee for Fyre Media, filed a series of lawsuits against top talent, including Kendall Jenner, Blink-182, and Emily Ratajkowski, according to Variety.

Fyre Festival promised attendees that the Festival would feature top musical talent including Blink-182, Pusha T, Tyga, Major Lazer, Disclosure, Migos, and Kaytranada, among many others.

The Festival was promoted through celebrities and influencers on social media, including Bella Hadid, Emily Ratajkowski, Kendall Jenner, Elsa Hosk, Lais Ribiero, Hailey Baldwin (n/k/a Hailey Bieber), Rose Bertram, Gizele Oliveira, Chanel Iman, and Shanina Shaik.

Who’s Being Hit and Why?

Of the two dozen “fraudulent transfers and actual fraud” lawsuits filed in the New York bankruptcy court this week, Messer’s suits named models Emily Ratajkowski and Kendall Jenner, as well as rock-band Blink-182, seeking the avoidance of over $1M, collectively allocated to hiring talent to perform at the festival, in addition to hundreds of thousands of dollars more being spent on other influencers.

The grounds for the avoidance is that these were “actual fraudulent transfers…made in continuation of McFarland’s fraud which involved duping investors, creditors and the public into investing in Fyre Festival and purchasing tickets to the doomed Festival.”

Messer is hoping to understand what happened to the total $26 million that was raised by Fyre’s investors. In each lawsuit, Messer is seeking judgments to hold “each [defendant] jointly and severally liable for the return of any [Fyre Fest related payment] transfers,” plus any prejudgment interest and attorneys’ fees.

The named defendants in Messer’s lawsuit surrounds the promise that many of the models, celebrities, and influencers, would post a simple orange title with a link to the promotional video to their Instagram accounts at the same time to disrupt users’ news feeds and draw attention to the Festival.

Many of these influencers that were paid to promote the Festival did not indicate to their fans and followers that they were paid to advertise and promote the Festival, nor did they inform their fans and followers that they were not planning on attending the Festival because of the problems with the Festival, which they and/or their agencies were uniquely aware.

In addition to each of these individuals being names, several other agencies, including CAA, UTA, and ICM Partners have all been named as defendants.

Blink-182 / Creative Artists Agency (CAA)

via Spotify

CAA represents Blink-182, as well as several other acts that were scheduled to appear, including Claptone, Bedouin and Burridge. Messer’s complaint against CAA seeks to recover $585,000, holding it jointly and severally liable for Blink-182’s pulling out.

As of Wednesday, rock-band, Blink-182 was named in Messer’s series of lawsuits, in addition to its agency, Creative Artists Agency (CAA), for the performance fee of $585,000, in efforts to resolve the liabilities.

Back in April 2017, Blink-182 pulled out the first weekend of the festival, cancelling both their performances for logistical issues. At the time, the band indicated they weren’t confident that they would be able to provide fans with an adequate show with limited resources.

According to a previous interview Blink-182 singer, Matt Skiba told NME:

“We pulled out for technical and logistical issues and the rest of it crumbled to s—t because that’s what it was,” he said. “It was bulls—t. I used my witchy ways and it seemed to work. I’ll take responsibility, and everyone can blame me. Shazam. I was on my couch feeling somewhat guilty, but very relieved that I wasn’t there with people stealing from each other.”

However, in their cancellation tweet, the band did not disclose to its fans any of the problems it was facing with the Festival, or that they were being paid to promote the event.

Case Number: 1:19ap1343

Case Name: Gregory M. Messer, as Chapter 7 Trustee of the Estate of Fyre Festival LLC v. Creative Artists Agency, LLC, et al.

Court: U.S. Bankruptcy Court for the Southern District of New York

Judge: Judge Martin Glenn

Emily Ratajkowski / DNA Model Management, LLC

According to the complaint, model Emily Ratajkowski was hit with $300,000 for claims that she did not post content according to the agreed-upon terms, demonstrating “a clear lack of good faith,” as her Instagram post was not properly marked as “sponsored.”

Ratajkowski’s talent agency, DNA Model Management, LLC, was also named in Messer’s lawsuit, which was paid $299,000 by Fyre Media.

For more information on this case:

Case Number: 1:19ap1344

Case Name: Gregory M. Messer, as Chapter 7 Trustee of the Estate of Fyre Festival LLC v. DNA Model Management, LLC, et al.

Court: U.S. Bankruptcy Court for the Southern District of New York

Judge: Judge Martin Glenn

Kendall Jenner

via YouTube

In the case against Hollywood model, Kendall Jenner, in which cases were filed against her both in her personal capacity and her corporate entity, Kendall Jenner Inc.. Messer is seeking the return of $275,000 that Jenner was paid by Fyre Media in connection with a January 2017 Instagram post.

According to the complaint, the Fyre Fest organizers “entered into an agreement with Jenner pursuant to which Jenner was required to make a single social media post promoting the Festival in exchange for $250,000.”

While Jenner “successfully promoted” the event back in January 2017 through her Instagram, Messer asserts that Jenner’s post failed to include “any indication that Jenner was paid to promote the Festival pursuant to the guidelines of the Federal Trade Commission.”

The complaint further states that “Jenner never informed the public that she either had no intention of attending the Festival, or that she ultimately determined not to attend the Festival.”

Jenner is expected to be receiving a subpoena in an effort to understand the payments she and model Emily Ratajkowski received from McFarland.

For more information on this case:

Case Number: 1:19-ap-1347

Case Name: Gregory M. Messer, as Chapter 7 Trustee of the Estate of Fyre Festival LLC v. Kendall Jenner Inc. AND Kendall Jenner

Court: U.S. Bankruptcy Court for the Southern District of New York

Judge: Judge Martin Glenn

ICM Partners

ICM Partners represents Rae Sremmurd, Lil Yachty, and Migos, with Messer seeking the return of $350,000 in payments made through ICM to those performances.


Messer also is seeking the return of $90,000 that was paid to Skepta through UTA.

Nue Agency

Nue Agency, also named in Messer’s suit, represented artists Pusha T, Desiigner, and Tyga, with damages of $730,000, which was actually paid out to the artists.

Yaron Lavi, Fyre Festival Director

Fyre Festival’s director Yaron Lavi was also sued for $315,000, in addition to various vendors that worked with the festival, including a yacht company, a ticketing company, and a catering company.

Overall, the suit alleges that the transfers were part of Fyre Festival organizer, Billy McFarland’s scheme to defraud investors, and therefore should be voided. Messer is also seeking to void the transfer of $14.4 million from Fyre Festival’s parent company, Fyre Media.

The festival’s founder, Billy McFarland is currently serving a six-year prison sentence after pleading guilty to federal fraud charges last year.

Andrew "Drew" Rossow is a former contract editor at Grit Daily.

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