DUBAI: The fallout from the ill-fated Fyre Festival of 2017 continues to unfold and now the models who starred in the promotional video for the event and posted about it on their social media accounts — including the likes of Bella Hadid and Kendall Jenner — are back in the headlines.
According to US media, IMG Models, which represents models Hadid and Hailey Bieber, and DNA Model Management, which represents Emily Ratajkowski, could be forced to reveal details about the payments they received from the festival’s founder and promoter Billy McFarland after a judge issued subpoenas as part of Fyre’s bankruptcy filing.
A subpoena is also expected for model Kendall Jenner’s company, Kendall Jenner INC, as investigators try to piece together what happened to the millions of dollars paid out by McFarland in the run-up to the failed festival.
Fyre Festival’s bankruptcy trustee, Gregory Messer, filed an ex-parte order in bankruptcy court in order to examine McFarland’s dealings with the agencies and it was approved on Monday.
Officials say McFarland, who was sentenced to six years in prison in 2018, raised $26 million from investors and now a bankruptcy court is attempting to find out how the money was used.
According to court documents seen by US news show Entertainment Tonight (ET), Messer asked that 24 parties, called “examinees,” be subpoenaed, including IMG Models, DNA Model Management, Kendall Jenner INC, United Talent Agency and others.
According to ET, the subpoenas are seeking to understand how the models and their respective agencies were paid to promote the festival on social media.
In October 2018, a federal judge gave the creator of the highly publicized Fyre Festival in the Bahamas a six-year prison term.
McFarland was sentenced in federal court in Manhattan. Judge Naomi Reice Buchwald called him a “serial fraudster,” the Associated Press reported at the time.
He admitted defrauding investors of $26 million in the 2017 music festival and over $100,000 in a fraudulent ticket-selling scheme after his arrest in the festival scam.
Buchwald said McFarland deserved a long prison term because he disrespected the criminal justice system by lying to law enforcement agents when they learned about the ticket-selling business.
Speaking in a courtroom packed with friends and family and at least one victim, McFarland apologized as family members cried behind him.
The festival has been subject of two recent documentary films, “Fyre Fraud” on Hulu and Netflix’s “Fyre: The Greatest Party That Never Happened.”