There are people who will posit that success is the best form of revenge but, at least in the case of foppish right-wing grifter Milo Yiannopoulos, it is equally (if not more) satisfying just to see the other party struggle.
Amidst fallout from Yiannopoulos’ suddenly cancelled Australian tour, communications between Yiannopoulos and the tour organisers have been made public by convicted Islamophobe and nationalist Neil Erikson. Erikson’s release took the form of a 29-page document and numerous screenshotted text messages, emails, and WhatsApp conversations, all outlining the falling out between Yiannopoulos and tour organisers Dan Spiller and Ben Spiller, in addition to their disagreements with Damien Costas, the Australian Penthouse publisher who organised Yiannopoulos’ last tour.
At the outset, it looks like Yiannopoulos was in a pretty great spot, getting paid just shy of $34,000 for a single tweet, but by May of this year, the document indicates that Yiannopoulos had to be paid $45,290 in advance because he “needed the money“, followed by a payment of $7,260 in July to “help stay afloat“.
By late July, Yiannopoulos and Dan Spiller are negotiating how much money needs to be paid to Yiannopoulos to fund his entire life, because Yiannopoulos has threatened to cancel the deal if they don’t do so. This results in Spiller doing up a budget for Yiannopoulos which has some frankly incredible insights into his lifestyle:
Pictured: Spend less on embroidery.
According to Spiller’s spreadsheet, Yiannopoulos owes $1.6 million (presumably USD) to MILO Inc, in addition to $1,400 USD for food delivery, $15,852 USD for ‘top shelf embroidery’, and $1,600 USD to his cleaner.
Yiannopoulos was not happy with this budget and Spiller’s vision of his living a reduced lifestyle:
I am stunned to receive this. As so often, just when I feel like we are getting somewhere, you renege on an agreement and change course. This time, the fallout is going to be more serious. I find working with you absolutely infuriating. We have periods of intense cameraderie (sic) and brotherhood, and moments you seem to genuinely care and make serious overtures about working together profitably for years to come. Then you destroy it all with your next email. Over the course of the past 24 hours, you have deliberately misled me on a number of occasions. This email details some of the immediate consequences.
Here are some of the highlights:
1. Why did you deduct $2,000, without telling me, from the amount we agreed you would wire? You told me the agreed amount was on the way. This is dishonest. I will have no way or paying my cleaning lady or paying back the loan for my phone bill. These are not optional expenses.
2. Medical expenses. How could you not pay my doctor and then repeatedly not tell me over text when I said I presumed he had been paid? I have critical ongoing medical conditions that require my physician’s attention on a regular basis. You do not know this because you did not ask. This is not your decision to make. You do not live in America. Healthcare here is not subsidized.
3. You cannot set an arbitrary figure for my living expenses without discussion with me. This is unacceptable. You have no idea what any of my day to day expenses are. You have no idea about anything until we have spoken in detail, line by line, about my weekly and monthly commitments. You know nothing about any of this.
And my personal favourite:
You will not be allowed to drip feed me funds so that I am like a child asking for pocket money. I have serious, ongoing expenses.
In further emails, he is even more insistent:
At an absolute bare minimum, I need you to pay two months’ rent, pay the doctor and send another $10k by cash wire, the latter the moment the bank opens. We are not talking about vast sums here.
Food delivery service, household, 1400
Phone bill loan 1400
Heath insurance 1800
House keeper 1600
Credit card minimum payments 1500
Prescription copays 250-500
These are just some of the things that need to be paid right now, and cannot be delayed any longer. You will get receipts for everything in due course. But I cannot provide them now.
Plus the new phone bill due in 3 days, 500
Storage unit 200
And most of these bills are a month behind
I don’t have the time to produce all this now. But i would not react like this if it were not real and serious.
In September, Milo takes some time to act exactly how you would expect:
In early October, an email purportedly from Milo shows his own snapshots of his finances, to give a sense of the size of his debts as he asks for more money, this time to cover flights:
You don’t need to worry about the specifics — this is just to give you a sense of the scale, which isn’t catastrophic. Not worth bankruptcy, certainly. Spoke to lawyer and he says he can keep all this out of my hair until January 2019 with USD 40k if we act now and he has discretion to go away and deal with everything as he sees fit. He has promised to handle any essential overspend over the 40 himself and I can settle up with him in the new year. This would be in addition to the $6.9k for flights. If you can only do some of that on the spot, that’s ok obviously. But I do at a bare minimum need the flights money right away if possible (tonight ideally!).
Again, embroidery plays a large part:
Pictured: Doing great!
The rest of the document is a series of arguments over whether or not Yiannopoulos will do an ’email blast’ and post a YouTube video, as his contract stipulates. Gripping stuff.
In a Facebook post, Yiannopoulos confirmed that he was indeed heavily in debt, even more so than indicated in the documents:
I was shocked to read more lies in the press about me today. They say I owe $2m. I don’t! It’s at least $4m. Do you know how successful you have to be to owe that kind of money?
Apparently not so successful that you don’t have to beg for loans to pay your cleaner, Milo.
The rise of the far-right in global politics and the enthusiastic, unashamed embrace of nationalism, bigotry, and xenophobia might be absolutely terrifying, but at least we know that a lot of these goons are unbelievably incompetent.Image: AAP / Lukas Coch