Pop star Taylor Swift was the only potential celebrity endorser of the disgraced cryptocurrency exchange FTX to vet the service on its compliance with federal financial regulations, the lawyer representing investors in a high-profile civil lawsuit against celebrities who backed FTX claimed Tuesday.
When approached about an endorsement deal, Swift asked FTX brass “‘Can you tell me that these are not unregistered securities?” attorney Adam Moskowitz said on the Block’s The Scoop podcast.
FTX and Swift discussed a $100 million sponsorship of her ongoing tour before negotiations broke down last spring, sources told the Financial Times, with FTX’s then-billionaire CEO Bankman-Fried intimately involved in the talks.
Swift was the “only person” who consulted her legal team and did proper due diligence on FTX before agreeing to a deal, Moskowitz claimed.
Moskowitz’s clients are seeking $5 billion in damages from FTX celebrity endorsers including NFL star Tom Brady and his ex-wife and supermodel Gisele Bundchen, actor Larry David, Shark Tank star Kevin O’Leary and NBA legend Shaquille O’Neal.
Elon Musk, the world’s second-wealthiest man, chimed in on Swift’s strong vetting, tweeting early Wednesday about Moskowitz’s claim: “I’m not surprised. Taylor is smart and her father is a well-regarded investment banker.” Swift’s father, Scott Swift, has several decades of experience at Merrill Lynch as a financial advisor.
The civil suit against FTX endorsers came less than a week after the exchange filed for bankruptcy—and three weeks before the arrest of Bankman-Fried and FTX cofounder Gary Wang. Bankman-Fried faces more than a dozen federal criminal charges for fraudulent practices at FTX and his quantitative trading firm Alameda Research.
Swift is worth $570 million, Forbes estimated last June, and raked in some $92 million last year. Bankman-Fried was once worth as much as $26.5 billion but is now worth just $4 million, according to Forbes’ latest calculations.
This story was first published on forbes.com
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