Kendall Jenner to pay $90,000 settlement for promoting Fyre Festival

Jenner advertised the festival on her Instagram, offering followers a promotion code that would supposedly get them access to an afterparty.
Image: Kendall Jenner attends a screening at the Cannes Film Festival in France on May 12, 2018.
Kendall Jenner attends a screening at the Cannes Film Festival in France on May 12, 2018.Gareth Cattermole / Getty Images file

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By Gwen Aviles

Kendall Jenner has agreed to pay a $90,000 settlement for her involvement in promoting Fyre Festival on social media, according to a bankruptcy court filing.

Jenner, who was among several celebrities to post about the fraudulent music event, was paid $275,000 to endorse the festival in 2017. She was sued in U.S. Bankruptcy Court in New York in August 2019 by Gregory Messer, who argued that Jenner did not only fail to disclose to her followers that she would be paid for advertising Fyre Festival, but that she led them to believe the festival "would be filled with famous models on an 'exotic private island with first-class culinary experiences and a luxury atmosphere.'"

Messer also alleged that Jenner "intentionally" misinformed the public by claiming that her brother-in-law, Kanye West, would be performing at the event, after she tweeted, "So hyped to announce my G.O.O.D. Music Family as the first headliners for @fyrefestival." She provided her followers with a promotion code they could use when purchasing tickets to supposedly "get on the list for the artists and talents afterparty on Fyre Cay" in that same tweet.

Messer, a trustee overseeing the Fyre Festival bankruptcy, has filed at least 14 lawsuits against major talent agencies repping artists that were supposed to perform at the event and other influencers that were involved in its failed execution, including Jenner, Emily Ratajkowski, Migos, Pusha T, Blink-182 and Lil Yachty. The money recouped in settlements will go to investors who put money into the failed festival. The suit alleges that money paid to the influencers to promote the festival was part of a scheme to defraud investors.

Billy McFarland and Ja Rule's Fyre Festival, which was the subject of two competing documentaries released by Hulu and Netflix in 2019, was billed as a luxury musical festival that would make Coachella look like child's play. Tickets to the event, which was supposed to take place in April and May 2017 in the Bahamas, cost up to $100,000. Yet once attendees arrived on the island, they quickly realized the event was not as it had been advertised.

Jenner did not respond to a request for comment, but she previously addressed her involvement with Fyre Festival in an interview with The New York Times last year.

"You get reached out to by people to, whether it be to promote or help or whatever, and you never know how these things are going to turn out, sometimes it's a risk," Jenner said. "I definitely do as much research as I can, but sometimes there isn't much research you can do because it's a starting brand and you kind of have to have faith in it and hope it will work out the way people say it will."

Fyre Festival founder Billy McFarland is currently serving a 6-year prison sentence after pleading guilty to two counts of wire fraud in March 2018.