Billy McFarland, the Fyre Festival promoter sentenced to six years in prison in October for defrauding investors of at least $26 million, is expressing regret in a jailhouse interview.
"I am incredibly sorry for my collective actions and will right the wrongs I have delivered to my family, friends, partners, associates and, you, the general public," McFarland, who is serving his time at the federal prison in Otisville, New York, told People magazine in a story published Tuesday.
McFarland, 27, went on to concede: "I made many wrong and immature decisions along the way and I caused agony. As a result, I've lived every day in prison with pain, and I will continue to do so until I am able to make up for some of this harm through work and actions that society finds respectable."
As chronicled in two recent documentaries — "Fyre" on Netflix and "Fyre Fraud" on Hulu — McFarland spearheaded what was billed as a luxury music festival on Great Exuma island in The Bahamas in 2017. The event was promoted as a two-weekend romp for the well-heeled, and promised VIP accommodations, gourmet food, appearances by such models as Kendall Jenner, Hailey Baldwin, Bella Hadid and Emily Ratajkowski, and music by the likes of Blink-182 and Migos. It instead was canceled after festivalgoers found themselves stranded with bare-bones accommodations, cheese sandwiches and none of the promised headliners.
People did not indicate if it had paid for the interview with McFarland. Chris Smith, director of "Fyre," told the online magazine The Ringer last week that he had turned down McFarland's demand for $100,000 to speak with him. "Fyre Fraud" co-director Jenner Furst admitted to The Ringer that his company had paid McFarland an undisclosed sum.
In related news, Bahamian restaurant-owner Maryann Rolle, who says in the Netflix documentary that she emptied her life savings, $50,000, to pay catering employees after McFarland defrauded her, has raised more than $165,000 in eight days on GoFundMe. Rapper Ja Rule, who was involved in the festival's promotion, posted his support on Instagram Monday writing, "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."
And Rockville Centre-raised comedy star Amy Schumer on Monday poked fun at the fest, posting an Instagram photo of its tents and garbage-strewn grounds with the caption, "My baby shower was LIT! Thanks girls!"