Sean Parker has found himself square in the middle of a big mess–which includes death threats–and all over the creation of his dream wedding.
Parker–who, as the founder of Napster and co-founder of Facebook, has seen his share of hostile attitudes–says that since his wedding, which took place in Big Sur’s Redwood Forests, has caused him so much trouble that he and his wife have canceled their honeymoon and are instead spending their time in hiding.
The trouble began when Alexis C. Madrigal of The Atlantic wrote a story on the work Parker had done on a campground in the area just for his big day, which included building an arch, an artificial pond, and a stone bridge, among other things. The land was rented from The Ventana Inn, and Parker assumed the owners were taking care of any permits needed to build on the land. But Ventana had issues with the California Coastal Commission before Parker ever came into the picture, and they shut down construction 20 days before the wedding was set to take place due to those previous violations.
Parker, who just wanted to get things taken care of to make his wedding day go smoothly, says he paid millions to both the Commission and to fund projects in the area for underprivileged kids in order to get the ball rolling again. But after the initial story by Madrigal went live, there was no stopping the momentum and the media ran with it without asking for the full story from Parker. Subsequently, he was called nasty names by the press and accused of throwing his money around in a horrible show of excess, and environmentalists took to Facebook to threaten him for “ruining” the Redwood Forests.
“There are crazy people on Facebook typing death threats,” Parker told Paul Sloan at CNet. “There were people — eco-terrorists — on my own Facebook page saying, ‘Let’s find this guy and put him out of his misery’…Psychopaths are hunting me.”
Parker is intent on getting his side of the story heard, and wants everyone to know that there was no trashing of precious forests done on his behalf.
“Save the Redwoods League sent their chief scientist down to look at it and provide us with a plan to do this in an eco-sensitive way,” Parker said. “So much of the press accused us of eco-trashing.… We couldn’t have been more conscientious about our approach. We went out of our way to do this the right way.”