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The Super Connector Who Built Sam Bankman-Fried’s Celebrity World

Ms. Perry’s manager, Martin Kirkup, declined to comment on the endorsement talks and said her Instagram post was a “joke.” Representatives for Ms. Hudson and Mr. Bloom said FTX had not compensated the actors in any way. And Ms. Ashford, the K5 spokeswoman, said the firm had not brokered any of FTX’s formal endorsement deals.

But for months, the K5 partners acted as Mr. Bankman-Fried’s tour guides through the corridors of fame and power.

At Mr. Kives’s Super Bowl party, Mr. Bankman-Fried also met Bobby Kotick, the chief executive of the video game company Activision Blizzard, a person familiar with the matter said. Mr. Kives tried to foster the relationship, relaying a dinner invitation from Mr. Kotick to Mr. Bankman-Fried in April 2022, according to messages viewed by The Times.

That month, Mr. Kives also texted Mr. Musk, urging him to join forces with Mr. Bankman-Fried on the acquisition of Twitter, which Mr. Musk was pursuing. “Could be cool to do this with Sam Bankman-Fried,” Mr. Kives wrote in a message that was released as part of a different lawsuit last year.

Last June, Mr. Bankman-Fried attended a charity gala at Casa Cipriani in New York. Mr. DiCaprio was also at the event. When Mr. Kives found out, he texted the actor, encouraging him to speak with Mr. Bankman-Fried, a person familiar with the matter said.

Around the same time, Mr. Kives put Mr. Bankman-Fried in touch with MasterClass, a site for tutorials by famous people, three people familiar with the matter said. Mr. Bankman-Fried filmed a lesson on cryptocurrencies last summer, the people said. His segment was dropped from the final version.

Representatives for Mr. Kotick and Mr. DiCaprio declined to comment.

Mr. Baum also tapped into his network. Last year, he set up a meeting between Mr. Bankman-Fried and Nelson Peltz, the billionaire activist investor, four people familiar with the matter said. Mr. Peltz was impressed enough with the FTX founder that he invited Mr. Bankman-Fried to the star-studded wedding of his daughter Nicola and Brooklyn Beckham, the son of David and Victoria Beckham, according to emails obtained by The Times. (Mr. Bankman-Fried did not attend.)

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Mohammad SHiblu

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