Attorney Mark Geragos is fighting an attempt by rapper Ja Rule to be dropped from the Fyre Fest class action lawsuit, arguing that the rapper, whose real name is Jeffrey Atkins, “conceived, organized, marketed, promoted, advertised and funded the Fyre Festival and was responsible for its overall business strategy, guiding creative and facilitating artist relations.”
Last month attorneys for Ja Rule filed a motion to dismiss the rapper from case, arguing that those who bought tickets for the disastrous festival signed a contract with the event, not him. Ja Rule insists he only promoted the festival twice on social media and said he is being targeted because he is the only person associated with the festival who has any money.
Geragos has now filed opposition to Ja Rule’s motion, arguing the rapper conceived the festival with Billy McFarland, who pled guilty to multiple counts of fraud and now faces a lengthy prison sentence.
Ja Rule “actively and extensively promoted the Fyre Festival as a control person of the Fyre corporate entities, and as an influencer and marketer in his own right, through false representations through his and other social media, such as his influential Instagram account,” Geragos and Geragos attorney Lori G. Feldman wrote in a 48-page filing, that claims Ja Rule had “been aware for months that Fyre Festival ‘was dangerously under-equipped and posed a serious danger to anyone in attendance.'”
Ja Rule has tried to paint himself as a mere celebrity endorser of the event, but Feldman says the “It’s Murda” rapper “invested enormous amounts of time and money in promoting and advertising the festival domestically and internationally.”
Feldman claims Ja Rule conducted a site visit to the event site on Bahama’s Grand Exuma a month before the disastrous festival took place, where hundreds of attendees show up on the island expecting luxury villas and gourmet food, only to find a festival site lacking basic infrastructure.
Instead of actually examining the festival site during his March 2017 visit, “most of (Ja Rule’s) time was spent on a yacht near the supposed Festival site,” Feldman alleges, saying the rapper famously toasted to “To living like movie stars, partying like rock stars, and f****** like porn stars.”
In his motion to dismiss, Ja Rule claims that statements he made leading up to the festival were simply “puffery” including claims that Fyre would be “the biggest FOMO-inducing event of 2017″ and be “a thousand times better than Coachella” arguing that he was playing his role of hype man for Fyre without knowledge of its actual dysfunction.
“Clearly, Atkins had superior knowledge as to the likelihood that the Festival would be a disaster,” Feldman writes, “and by continuing to market the event, Atkins reasonably knew that prospective attendees were relying on his misrepresentations.”