Ja Rule Off the Hook for Fyre Festival Fraud Claims in Class-Action Lawsuit

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Photo Credit: Rmv/Shutterstock
July 11, 2019

A class action lawsuit filed by ticket-holders of the ill-fated Fyre Festival can go forward for now, a judge ruled, while also tossing the fraud claims against rapper and festival promoter Ja Rule.

Federal Judge Kevin Castel ruled that Ja Rule, real name Jeffrey Atkins, and the Fyre Festival's chief marketing officer, Grant Margolin, could not have known the festival was going to devolve into chaos when they were promoting it to wealthy attendees and social-media influencers. He gave plaintiffs three weeks to provide new evidence that Rule and Margolin were party to anything more than marketing "puffery."

Ja Rule was a regular presence in the months leading up to Fyre, alongside Billy MacFarland, the Fyre Festival organizer who is now serving a six-year fraud sentence. The two were captured on video in dueling documentaries on Netflix and Hulu boasting about the success of the 2017 concert in the Bahamas, even in the 24 hours leading up to it, when it became obvious to even casual observers that the festival was doomed.

Judge Castel wrote: "There is no assertion that the Festival when first conceived or introduced to the public was intended not to go forward or that defendants intended not to perform by organizing the advertised amenities and accommodation."

Ja Rule's freedom from legal entanglement with the Fyre Festival may help him as he embarks on his latest business endeavor: a music festival that he says he wants to be just like Fyre, only functional.