Taylor Swift might have a reputation for diving, naively, headfirst into love, but you can’t say the woman doesn’t maintain a healthy skepticism when asked to partner with (now known to be) fraudulent business endeavors. In December, reports broke that Swift had been in talks with FTX to negotiate a $100 million partnership deal earlier that spring. But after doing her due diligence by simply (and smartly) asking if the crypto exchange was registered with the Securities and Exchange Commission, she must have decided the partnership was not worth it and backed out of negotiations.
“In our discovery, Taylor Swift actually asked them, ‘Can you tell me that these are not unregistered securities?’” lawyer Adam Moskowitz told The Scoop podcast. FTX could not tell her that because...they were not registered. I eagerly await her opening her Houston show this weekend by announcing (in an Elle Woods voice), “Yeah I avoided a crypto scam. What, like it’s hard?”
Moskowitz is one of the lawyers representing plaintiffs in the class action lawsuit against FTX founder and fallen-wunderkind Sam Bankman-Fried, and other celebrities who, according to the law firm’s website, “are responsible for around $11 billion of losses to American consumers.” The other celebrities who notably did not care to ask if they were associating themselves with unregistered securities include Shaquille O’Neal, Larry David, and Tom Brady. Moskowitz said on the podcast: “You promote an unregistered security for financial benefit, you are liable for all the rescissory damages.” Makes sense.
Celebrities who danced the forbidden dance with crypto during the height of the craze last year are beginning to see ramifications. A slew of famous folks like Lindsay Lohan and Soulja Boy were fined by the SEC in March for not disclosing paid crypto partnerships. Certainly, not every celebrity who hopped on the now deflated hot air balloon is in legal trouble, but enough shady dealings took place in the crypto arena to help us see it for what it was: a hyped-up fad that was particularly trendy in Miami. But, like rubbing yourself in suntan oil, time has revealed the cancerous sunspots.
Good on Taylor for asking one single question before risking her entire business reputation for a dude who reportedly referred to himself as “a fan of Tay-Tay” and has since fallen far from public grace. As Swift advises in her Vogue “73 Questions” interview from 2016, the key to being a successful singer is to “get a good lawyer.” Seems like hers is definitely earning their pay.