If you, like Chrissy Teigen, can’t get enough of the Fyre Festival drama, it looks like the recent Hulu and Netflix documentaries have led to another chapter in this sorry saga — the models who participated in the very first Fyre Festival promotional video are being asked to participate in the ongoing investigation.
According to Billboard, the modelling agencies that represent Kendall Jenner, Bella Hadid, Hailey Bieber (née Baldwin), Emily Ratajkowski and Elsa Hosk will reportedly be receiving subpoenas to disclose information about the millions of dollars they were paid to appear in a promo video released in January 2017.
Billboard is reporting that $1.2 million of the $11.3 million Billy McFarland (the Festival’s organizer) paid out in an effort to put on the fraudulent festival was paid to the modelling agency that represents Hadid, Bieber and Hosk. Agencies representing the other models were paid unknown amounts likely in the hundreds of thousands.
Jenner was also reportedly paid $250,000 in January 2017 for a promotional post she made on her Instagram, which has already gotten her into hot water with the Federal Trade Commission for failing to indicate it was a sponsored ad. The post, which has since been deleted, announced that artists from Kanye West‘s G.O.O.D. Music label would be performing at the festival and offered an exclusive promo code to get into an after-party.
The exact value of funds exchanged between Jerry Media (the public relations company representing Fyre) and the modelling agencies is still unknown since McFarland didn’t keep detailed finance records — kind of a theme here — but these subpoenas are part of the investigation into where $26 million of investor money went.
The Fyre Festival scheme was spearheaded by Fyre Media founder Billy McFarland who used a series of shady tactics (outlined in the docs) to swindle Instagram influencers and affluent Millennials out of hundreds of thousands of dollars by promising a unique music festival experience on Pablo Escobar’s private island in the Bahamas.
The festival was meant to be a celebration and promotion for the launch of the Fyre app — a platform that venues and companies could use to book music artists and other forms of talent. Ja Rule was also deeply involved in the scheme, though he’s been conveniently silent as of late. McFarland is currently serving six years in jail after pleading guilty in June 2018 to two counts of wire fraud as well as other fraud charges related to misleading investors. He is also required to pay $26 million in restitution.