* New lawsuit alleges lawyers threatened social media critics
* North Carolina couple seeks $5 million in damages
* Lawsuit also targets festival’s marketing agencies
There’s more trouble looming for Fyre Festival organizers, Billy McFarland and Ja Rule. The latest in a string of lawsuits stemming from the debacled Bahamian getaway was filed this week in Florida court. It alleges the usual laundry list of fraud and neglect charges against festival organizers and their marketing firms, reports Rolling Stone, with the added twist that organizers were so bold as to fire off cease and desist letters to those who criticized the festival on social media.
The suit was filed by Kenneth and Emily Reel of North Carolina. The couple paid $4,600 for a VIP villa, though they never actually made it to the festival, as they were left stranded in Miami. The suit seeks $5 million compensation from organizers. It also names as co-defendants PR agency, 42West, and advertising company, Matte Projects, saying that neither marketing firm took “any steps, let alone reasonable steps, to ensure that their promotional materials and marketing campaigns were accurate.”
More galling than the actual fraud is the action taken by Fyre Festival’s lawyers against those who dared to call out the fiasco on social media. The plaintiff’s attorneys wrote in their court filings that, “Those individuals who elected to speak negatively about the Defendants on social media, they are now being threatened with legal action via cease-and-desist letters… Specifically, if the social media comments were not taken down, the Defendants claim they could ‘incite violence, rioting, or civil unrest,’ with the caveat that if ‘someone innocent does get hurt as a result… Fyre Festival will hold you accountable and responsible.”
In short: if you complain that Billy McFarland ripped you off, he’ll incite a riot and try to pin the blame on you. That’s certainly the stuff legends are made of.