Jimmy Fallon, Gwyneth Paltrow, Justin Bieber, Madonna and other celebrities who have spent a rather embarrassing part of the last few years convincing fans that ugly pictures of monkeys were both a) cool and b) a lucrative investment opportunity are now being hit with a lawsuit. Specifically – and per THR—a number of 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 the purchase of Bored Ape Yacht Club NFTs, even though they promoted the brand publicly.
The case is brought by Adonis Real and Adam Titcher, two Ape buyers who lost money on their purchases, and who hope to develop a class action against everyone involved. Their targets include BAYC parent company Yuga Labs, a number of celebrity promoters who endorsed the brand (Paris Hilton, Diplo, Post Malone, Snoop Dogg, Stephen Curry, Kevin Hart, DJ Khaled and more are also named as “Promoter Defendants”). , and well-known music executive Guy Oseary, who is accused of setting up low-key payments through a company called Moonpay (in which many of the named celebrities are reportedly investors) to pay them for their endorsements.
Much of the lawsuit’s focus rests on Oseary, the longtime manager of Madonna (as well as U2, the Red Hot Chili Peppers and more), who is referred to in the legal documents as “the fifth monkey.” (Along with the four founders of Yuga Labs, all also defendants.) Oseary is accused of leveraging his considerable network of contacts—the lawsuit specifically calls out his help in Fallon booking U2 in the early days of the host’s tenure on The Tonight Show— to rope in celebrity investors and promoters to build the Bored Ape brand.
Highlights a November 2021 Show tonight interview with online artist Matt “Beeple” Winkelmann (who is reportedly in business with Oseary, and also a named defendant in the lawsuit), the lawsuit accuses Fallon of being paid to promote the brand when he talked about getting his own ugly monkey image through Moonpay , writing that “Fallon did not disclose that he had a financial interest in MoonPay or that he was likewise financially interested, directly or indirectly, in the increased sales and popularity of Yuga papers.” The lawsuit goes on to allegedly detail a number of other transactions where celebrities appear to have been paid, either in cryptocurrency or NFTs, in exchange for their endorsements.
A spokesperson for Yuga Labs responded to the suit this week, calling the allegations “opportunistic and parasitic. We strongly believe they are without merit, and look forward to proving it.” This is not the first celebrity-focused NFT/crypto lawsuit to emerge in recent months, as the entire market continues to rest comfortably on the toilet. Larry David) was recently named as a defendant in a suit to promote crypto exchange FTX.
You can read the full text of the Bored Ape costume over THR.