Monday, January 24, 2022

Ja Rule: Judge Dismisses Fyre Festival Lawsuit Against Rapper

*A judge has dismissed an appeal against JaRule filed by Fyre Festival attendees seeking to include his name among the defendants in a $100 million class-action lawsuit against festival co-founder Billy McFarland.

In recent weeks, another judge had ruled that the rapper (whose legal name is Jeffrey Atkins) had no hands in/or knowledge of the festivals misconduct leading up to the botched 2017 event, but the plaintiffs had filed an appeal.

The lawsuit against McFarland and others involved in the disastrous festival will continue without Ja Rule as a defendant. “This ruling is nothing short of a total vindication of Mr. Atkins,” Ja Rule’s lawyer told Complex.

In a statement obtained by AllHipHop, Rule’s lawyer, Ryan Hayden Smith, noted a string of rulings that prove “nothing short of a total vindication” for his client. “In July, the Court dismissed all Fyre Festival claims against Mr. Atkins,” Smith said. “After this loss, plaintiffs’ law firm Geragos & Geragos appealed that decision. Today, the Court denied their appeal. This ruling is nothing short of a total vindication of Mr. Atkins.”

In October 2018, McFarland was sentenced to six years in federal prison for fraud, and ordered to pay back $26 million to festival investors.

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WATER MILL, NY - JULY 30: Musical artist Ja Rule attends the 23rd Annual Watermill Center Summer Benefit & Auction at The Watermill Center on July 30, 2016 in Water Mill, New York. (Photo by Jared Siskin/Patrick McMullan via Getty Images)
Ja Rule

Ja Rule has previously stated that he has no shame about what the ill-fated 2017 Fyre Festival could have been had he been more involved.

“I’m not ashamed of Fyre at all. Man, the idea—it was brilliant. It was fuckin’ beyond brilliant,” he said during a recent appearance on Revolt TV’s Drink Champs (1:05:30 of the clip above), via Complex. “[…] It was amazing, but it wasn’t what I dreamed it of being, and what I envisioned of it being, and what I wanted it to be. It wasn’t done properly.”

Ja was facing the class-action lawsuit that accuses organizers of placing attendees in dangerous conditions in the Bahamas with unsuitable accommodations, a lack of adequate food, water, shelter, and medical care on the island, the report states. 

“People didn’t really know I had anything to do with the festival until it went wrong. And then it was like, ‘JA RULE’S FESTIVAL!” he explained. “[…] It was my idea, my vision to do this. And I’m in no way, shape, or form ashamed of my vision […] I wanted to create something amazing. And I’m not a n***a that likes to put blame and throw people under the bus […] I should’ve been more on top of things. I should’ve not trusted people in certain things. And maybe—I’m positive things wouldn’t have been like that. That part of it, I take responsibility.”

He added, “These things in business happen. But the one thing that I’m really proud of myself of is that I didn’t let [Fyre] set me back the way people thought it would,” Ja explained. “I lost money in that shit… I didn’t make a dollar out of any of that. My main lesson that I learned out of that is: Never give nobody the keys to your motherfuckin’ car. You can get in it, n***a, but you can’t drive […] It’s like the old saying, ‘You want something done right, you gotta do it yourself.’”

Hear Ja Rule tell it via the clip above.

Ny MaGee
Ny MaGee is an entertainment reporter with over 15 years of experience working in the film industry in areas including production and post-production, marketing, distribution, and acquisitions. She has worked for legendary film producer Roger Corman, Quentin Tarantino's production team at Miramax, the late Larry Flynt, MTV/ VH1, Hallmark Channel, Paramount, Jim Henson Co., Parade Magazine, and various LA-based companies representing above-the-line talent.

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