In a great disservice to humanity, a mysterious individual or collection of individuals is trying or threatening to leak a tape concerning Sam Bankman-Fried, the disgraced former chief executive of bankrupt crypto exchange FTX. That person or group claimed the tape also features Bankman-Fried’s rumored ex-girlfriend-slash-race science appreciator Caroline Ellison, the former chief executive of FTX’s hedge fund sister company, Alameda Research.
On Wednesday, a link to a website began to circulate that claimed that, in retribution for Bankman-Fried’s softball interview with the New York Times, a sex tape would be released on Nov. 18. We won’t link to the URL itself, as that would put us in gnarly ethical territory. But here is what the website said:
The date in that image is today’s date, 11/18/2022. So one might think the alleged tape would have appeared today. So far, it has not. But the available text was updated Thursday night, perhaps because of a second interview Bankman-Fried gave, this time with Vox:
To be clear, the leaker is not a staff member of Gawker.com, or any of the employees, full-time, part-time, or contractor, of its parent company, Bustle Digital Group. An offense of that nature would violate Title 80085, § 8===> of the B.D.G. Legal Code. We do not condone leaking sex tapes of any kind and for any reason. But someone is trying, or threatening, to do that to Sam Bankman-Fried. We are just the messengers.
Why would someone do this? To quote Lisa Kudrow as Valerie Cherish as Aunt Sassy in The Comeback, “I don’t need to see that.” The answer is likely clout, trolling, and/or money. At the very least, the Thursday night updates coincided with a new listing on OpenSea, the NFT marketplace, for a collection of five NFTs called “SBF | CAROLINE LEAK.” It is the sole listing from an account called ZOLTHARZ, which was opened in January but has no other noted activity. Their avatar is a shittier looking Guy Fawkes mask though, so you know they are cool.
The NFTs were minted at around 9:30 p.m. Eastern, and remain on sale until 1 a.m. tomorrow. So presumably, this scammer, or a copycat, was scrounging for a quick buck. Unfortunately for them, few others seem interested in a likely nonexistent tape of two bankrupt gamers doing awkward missionary. The top bid is presently $12.15.