Over the past few years, the public has seen the rise of NFTs, digital assets that signify ownership and are based on blockchain technology. The non-refungible tokens have caused quite a stir within the tech and finance worlds, with some finding them ingenious and others viewing them as a collective nuisance. Nevertheless, they’ve gained a significant amount of buzz, and some celebrities have even taken to promoting them. However, that very fact is at the center of a lawsuit that involves Kevin Hart, Gwyneth Paltrow, Stephen Curry, Jimmy Fallon and more amid a period in which the value of the tokens is taking a hit.
Said legal filing alleges that the A-listers were given hidden payoffs to represent Yuga Labs’ Bored Ape Yacht Club NFTs, according to Deadline. There’s a lengthy list of defendants in this case, and it includes Stephen Curry, Kevin Hart, Gwyneth Paltrow, Madonna, Justin Bieber, Jimmy Fallon, Serena Wiliams, DJ Khaled and Paris Hilton. Others have been named as well, such as music industry bigwig Guy Oseary, who’s been pegged as the head of the alleged business scheme. Universal TV has also been roped into the situation and, when asked for a response, a spokesperson for the company said that it’s not part of its policy to comment on legal matters. According to the filing:
It’s also alleged that BAYC NFTs’ corporate strategy involves “using insidious marketing and promotional activities from A-list celebrities that are highly compensated (without disclosing such).” And in doing so, the company would apparently attempt to convince potential investors that they would see significant financial gains over time. For instance, Jimmy Fallon promoted the firm during an installment of The Tonight Show over a year ago while also claiming to be a customer himself.
Additionally, the suit claims that Yuga Labs was working with Guy Oseary’s cryptocurrency brand, Moonpay, to pay the top-tier talent under the table. And with that, the Hartbeat Productions head, the Goop founder and others would proceed to promote the brand and not disclose how much they were allegedly being paid.
This latest legal situation follows a lawsuit filed in November that involved the aforementioned Golden State Warriors player being drawn into a suit involving Larry David, the recently divorced Tom Brady and Gisele Bündchen. The filing involved their business dealings with the now-defunct cryptocurrency firm FTX, as all of the stars promoted the company in some form or fashion. Each was said to have been well-compensated but, all the while, investors were said to have experienced considerable losses due to the company’s collapse.
Other stars have also had issues with the digital tokens as well. In 2021, filmmaker Quentin Tarantino was sued by Miramax Films for trying to craft NFTs of his Pulp Fiction script. The lawsuit later took a turn when it was settled and both Tarantino and the studio opted to collaborate on that project and more in the future.
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