Guerilla War: Class Action Suit Filed Against Bored Ape Yacht Club Names 12 Celebrities

A 95-page class action lawsuit alleging conspiracy and misrepresentation regarding Bored Ape Yacht Club NFTs names many well-known celebrities among the defendants.

Persons named in the 95-page complaint include Justin Bieber, Paris Hilton, Madonna, Jimmy Fallon, Gwyneth Paltrow, Serena Williams, Beeple, Snoop Dogg, Kevin Hart, Khaled, Adidas, Moonpay and Stephen Curry II. Bored Ape co-founders, o-founders, Wylie Aronow (“Gordon Goner”) and Greg Solano (“Garga”), and Yuga Labs, also were named.

“The complaint further alleges,” reports ARTnews, “that Yuga Labs executives conspired with Hollywood talent manager Guy Oseary, who represents Bored Apes, and the crypto-trading app Moonpay to get celebrities to promote BAYC NFTs while hiding that they were compensating those celebrities for promotion. Oseary and many of his clients were early investors in MoonPay, which the complaint alleges handled the payments to celebrities, in crypto and in digital assets, for seemingly ‘organic’ promotion.”

Yuga Labs, the creator of Bored Ape Yacht Club and owner of CryptoPunks and Meebits, faces legal action over claims that it deliberately inflated the value of its NFTs to the benefit of insiders.

Tap here for the complaint PDF in the class action Real v. Yuga Labs, filed in the Central District of California, Western Division last week.

A Who’s Who

Professor Ed Lee of Chicago-Kent College of Law and publisher of nou nft is preparing an analysis.

The celebrities named in the complaint include Oseary’s client Madonna, who discussed Bored Apes in a Rolling Stone feature, Jimmy Fallon, who promoted them and MoonPay on The Tonight Show With Jimmy Fallon, as well as Justin Bieber, Gwyneth Paltrow, Serena Williams, Kevin Hart, Wardell Stephen Curry II and rapper Khalid promoted the Apes.

Tennis player Maria Sharapova and actor Bruce Willis were said to be BAYC investors but were not named in the suit.

Two Yuga Lab NFT collectors, reports artnet news, Adonis Real and Adam Titcher, filed the class-action lawsuit on December 8 with the Federal Central District Court of California alleging that Yuga Labs made paid celebrity endorsements appear organic, which artificially boosted prices and resulted in billions of dollars in sales and re-sales.

Conspiring, deliberately or not, to manipulate a collectibles market or to defraud investors is serious business. It remains to be seen what impact the suit will have on the various celebrities’ brand.

Image source: ARTnews; newyorker.com

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