Fyre Festival: Ja Rule says he was scammed by Billy McFarland too

  • Published
Ja Rule and Billy McFarlandImage source, Netflix
Image caption,
Ja Rule's lawyers argued that McFarland (right) used his name and connections to promote the event

Ja Rule claims he was scammed and lost money through his involvement with 2017's Fyre Festival.

The rapper has spoken out after two documentaries shed light on what happened at the flop Bahamas event.

Ticket holders were promised a weekend partying with influencers on a private island but instead got rain-soaked mattresses in disaster tents and their luggage dumped in an unlit car-park.

Ja denied he was involved in defrauding party-goers and locals on the island.

Tickets for the festival were available for up to $75,000 (£58,000).

Billy McFarland, founder of Fyre, is serving a six-year jail term but Ja Rule was not arrested or charged in connection with the fraud.

He shared his views on the festival, the documentaries and questions on why his involvement wasn't being investigated by US authorities on Twitter.

The BBC is not responsible for the content of external sites.View original tweet on Twitter
The BBC is not responsible for the content of external sites.View original tweet on Twitter

Two documentaries, on Netflix and US streaming site Hulu, were released last week but Ja Rule wasn't interviewed for either.

In the Netflix documentary, he is heard saying "It's not like anybody died" in a conference call with Fyre employees after the event collapsed.

Ja Rule is also seen at part of the early stages of promoting the festival, which included filming a promotional trailer featuring influencers and models such as Kendall Jenner, Bella Hadid and Hailey Baldwin.

Figure caption,
Warning: Third party content may contain adverts

When a follower asked if he lost money through his involvement with Fyre Festival, Ja replied "plenty".

"I never made or got paid one dollar from Fyre...But everyone else did," he wrote.

Ja Rule faced backlash online after Netflix's documentary, Fyre: The Greatest Party That Never Happened, premiered worldwide on Friday 18 January.

The BBC is not responsible for the content of external sites.View original tweet on Twitter

He also defended his original "vision" for Fyre Festival and said it wouldn't make sense for him to "scam or fraud anyone."

Billy McFarland didn't appear in the Netflix documentary because the producers of the doc refused to pay him for his appearance.

"We just didn't feel comfortable with him benefitting after so many people had been hurt based on what he had done," director Chris Smith recently told BBC Radio 1 Newsbeat.

Ja Rule also expressed anger over this payment, saying that any money paid to Fyre Festival employees for appearing in either the Netflix or Hulu documentaries should have gone to the people of Great Exuma in the Bahamas who lost money.

Image source, Ja Rule / Twitter

Viewers of the documentaries have crowdfunded more than $77,000 (£60,000) for restaurant owner Maryann Rolle who lost $50,000 (£38,000) of her life savings catering for employees and attendees at Fyre Festival.

Follow Newsbeat on Instagram, Facebook and Twitter.

Listen to Newsbeat live at 12:45 and 17:45 every weekday on BBC Radio 1 and 1Xtra - if you miss us you can listen back here.