Jimmy Fallon, Gwyneth Paltrow, Justin Bieber, Madonna and other celebs who spent a pretty embarrassing part of the past few years trying to convince fans that ugly monkey images were a) cool and b) a lucrative investment opportunity, are now getting hit with a lawsuit. specifically, and by THR—Several celebrities have found themselves defendants in a new lawsuit this week that accuses at least some of them of, among other things, failing to disclose a financial stake in a company that facilitates NFT purchases from Bored Ape Yacht Club, even when they were publicly promoting the brand.
That lawsuit is being filed by Adonis Real and Adam Titcher, two Ape buyers who lost money on their purchases and who hope to develop a class action lawsuit against everyone involved. Their targets include BAYC’s parent company, Yuga Labs, several famous promoters who have endorsed the brand (Paris Hilton, Diplo, Post Malone, Snoop Dogg, Stephen Curry, Kevin Hart, DJ Khaled and more are also named as “Demanded Promoters”) . ., and well-known music industry manager Guy Oseary, who is being accused of setting up discreet payments through a company called Moonpay (in which many of the named celebrities are allegedly investors) to pay them for their endorsements.
Much of the focus of the lawsuit falls on Oseary, Madonna’s longtime manager (as well as U2, the Red Hot Chili Peppers and more), who is referred to in legal documents as “the fifth monkey.” (Along with the four founders of Yuga Labs, all also charged.) Oseary is accused of taking advantage of his considerable network of contacts: the lawsuit specifically calls for his help in Fallon signing U2 in the early days of the host’s tenure in the tonight show— Attract celebrity investors and promoters to develop the Bored Ape brand.
Jimmy Fallon buys his first NFT with MoonPay
Highlighting a November 2021 the tonight show interview with web artist Matt “Beeple” Winkelmann (who allegedly does business with Oseary, and is also one of the defendants named in the lawsuit), the lawsuit accuses Fallon of being paid to promote the brand when he talked about getting his own ugly monkey image via Moonpay, writing that “Fallon did not disclose that he had a financial interest in MoonPay or that he was also financially interested, directly or indirectly, in the increased sale and popularity of Yuga securities” . The lawsuit goes on to allegedly detail a number of other transactions in which it appears celebrities were paid, either in cryptocurrency or NFTs, in exchange for their endorsement.
A Yuga Labs spokesperson responded to the lawsuit this week, calling the claims “opportunistic and parasitic. We firmly believe they are without merit and hope to prove it.” This isn’t the first celebrity-focused NFT/crypto lawsuit to emerge in recent months, as the entire market continues to sit comfortably on the toilet. (Trade for Bored Ape NFTs has reportedly dropped by 93 percent since its launch.) Several paid promoters (including Larry David) were newly named defendants in a lawsuit for promoting crypto exchange FTX.
You can read the full text of the Bored Ape costume on THR.
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