Via - The Guardian
The far right activist Milo Yiannopoulos was more than $2m in debt during 2018, according to a collection of documents assembled by his former Australian tour promoters and seen by Guardian Australia. Creditors listed in the documents include employees of his company, a wedding venue and his former sponsors, the billionaire Mercer family.
The documents indicate that as of April 2018, Yiannopoulos owed $1.6m to his own company, $400,000 to the Mercers, $153,215 to his former lawyers, $76,574 to former collaborator and Breitbart writer Allum Bokhari, and $20,000 to the luxury jewellery brand Cartier.
As of 2 October, Yiannopoulos owed sums of several thousand dollars to far right writers including Ian Miles Cheong, anti-Islamic ideologue Pamela Geller and science fiction writer Theodore Beale, aka Vox Day, the documents indicate, amongst others.
They were published on the website of an Australian far right figure and United Patriots Front member, Neil Erikson, infamous for subjecting the former senator Sam Dastyari to a torrent of racial abuse in a Melbourne pub.
The cache details the deterioration in the relationship between Yiannopoulos and his former promoters, Gold Coast-based Australian Events Management, run by brothers Ben and Dan Spiller.
The documents show Yiannopoulos demanding money from the promoters for his living expenses, medical bills for himself and his husband, and payment for his employees, on top of sums that the promoters claim they had already transferred to him.
At one point, as he attempts to negotiate the transfer of more funds from the Spillers, Yiannopoulos remarks in a message that “I am less financially secure, more panicked and stressed, and more miserable than when we started”, and then says he returned his wedding ring to Cartier to wipe out the debt he had with them.
Yiannopoulos’s disagreements with the promoters did not put him off the country, though. In a September text, he says that “I am really seriously considering a move to Australia in the next year or two. The political environment in the US is insane. So pulling this off well really matters to me”. In another text he worries that a failed tour would damage his earning potential in the country.
Emails show Yiannopoulos attempted to add more far right guests to the bill. In October, in an email with the subject line “Roger Stone really wants to join tour”, Yiannopoulos tried to get the Infowars broadcaster and Trump adviser on the bill, commenting that “Mueller investigation won’t have tightened the noose by December”.
Yiannopoulos and the promoters made successive failed attempts to organise speaking tours to Australia in 2018.
The British-born former Breitbart writer was to be accompanied by various guests, including the rightwing US commentator Ann Coulter, the English Defence League founder Stephen Yaxley-Lennon, also known as Tommy Robinson, the Australian senator Fraser Anning, who once called for a “final solution to immigration in Australia”; and the Proud Boys founder Gavin McInnes, who was himself refused a visa to enter Australia late last week.
Tours planned in April, September and December all fell through. The Spillers say that the earlier cancellations were largely due to scheduling conflicts with other touring far right speakers, such as the Lauren Southern tour.
Like McInnes, Yiannopoulos publicly quit his Proud Boys membership in the days after the Guardian revealed that the FBI had categorised it as an extremist group in talks with local law enforcement.
Last Friday, Yiannopoulos announced that he was joining the “Deplorable” tour organised by the Penthouse Australia publisher Damien Costas. In a YouTube video he poured scorn on the Spillers, calling them “fraudulent”, “insane” and “incompetent”, and published their email addresses in various social media posts.
The Spillers told the Guardian that they had since received threats from unknown people via text and email. They said a group of men broke into a car at their home on Saturday morning, which they reported to police. The Guardian has seen video that the Spillers say shows them chasing these men down the street away from their home.
Asked why the Spillers kept sending money to Yiannopoulos as they claimed, Ben Spiller said: “He has been paid so much more than the original contract warrants, but we threw money after money to try to save the tour and ticket holders.”
Yiannopoulos told the Guardian in an email the documents referred to “company debts, not personal”.
“I’m doing fine and bringing in $40k US a month.”
He called the Spillers “crooks and clowns”, adding “these documents are not court filings. They are a dox [the publication of someone’s personal details, usually as a form of punishment].”
The Spillers said in a media release on Friday that they had commenced legal action for the “return of funds” from Yiannopoulos.