While some are continuing to debate which Fyre Festival documentary (Netflix or Hulu) is better, one of the central characters is working to make amends. Ja Rule, who co-founded the festival with entrepreneur Billy McFarland, expressed his sympathy toward Maryann Rolle, a resort owner in the Bahamas who said she lost her life savings after the festival imploded.
“My heart goes out to this lovely lady,” the rapper wrote in an Instagram post Monday morning. “MaryAnne Rolle we’ve never met but I’m devastated that something that was meant to be amazing, turn out to be such a disaster and hurt so many ppl … SORRY to anyone who has been negatively effected by the festival…”
My heart goes out to this lovely lady… MaryAnne Rolle we’ve never met but I’m devastated that something that was meant to be amazing, turn out to be such a disaster and hurt so many ppl… SORRY to anyone who has been negatively effected by the festival… Rule
A post shared by JaRule (@ruleyorkcity) on Jan 21, 2019 at 4:31am PST
Rolle spoke with local Bahama news in the immediate aftermath of the event, recalling how McFarland asked her to take on more than 500 angry festival attendees at her Exuma Point Resort while he attempted to get the grounds of the Fyre Festival finished. “I was able to get the breakfast out to them. I had lots of fresh fruit, breakfast bagels, everything you’d want or expect for a continental breakfast,” she told Tribune 242. “Breakfast turned into lunch, and the girls just cooked and cooked and cooked.”
In the Netflix documentary, titled Fyre: The Greatest Party That Never Happened, Rolle recounts how —when McFarland fled — she was left dipping into her own funds to pay her employees. “I had 10 persons working directly with me, just preparing food all day and all night, 24 hours straight. I had to literally pay all those people; I am here as a Bahamian — and they stand in my face every day,” said Rolle. “I went through about $50,000 of my savings that I could have had for a rainy day. They just wiped it out and never looked back.”
In the time since, Rolle said she struggles to even talk about what happened and chooses instead not to dwell on it. “I am really hurt from that,” she said in the documentary. “To see nobody return to say, ‘Let me take care of what she’s done — we know she has done right.’ I just leave it alone, because it really pains me when I have to talk about it.”
Inspired by the documentary, Rolle reportedly set up a GoFundMe to make up for the $120,000 she said she was owed in full. By Monday, it had surpassed its goal, reaching $130,000. In messages below, strangers expressed sympathy. “You didn’t deserve to be treated like that, and now the whole world sees how you were treated,” wrote one contributor. “Here’s my small part in trying to make it right.”
No word yet on whether Ja Rule, who is reportedly worth $7 million, is donating.
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