PALM BEACH — The 99 percent encroached on a Palm Beach gala over the weekend, embarrassing billionaire Paul Tudor Jones and his Everglades Foundation in the process.
A women’s organization that describes itself as an offshoot of the #metoo movement has been hounding the billionaire co-founder of the Palmetto Bay-based foundation for a while now.
And in addition to asking that the non-profit to get rid of its main donor Jones and forfeit the more than $3.5 million donated by the hedge-funder since 2015, the group managed to do something at the Foundation’s Palm Beach gala that even long-time Palm Beach gala goers had never seen.
Right where the beautiful people munched on fine hors d’oeuvres and partied to the riffs of tropical troubadour and Everglades Foundation supporter Jimmy Buffett!
You don’t say?
The protestors got as far as the area where donors and supporters with their $1,000-tickets were getting checked in.
A witness says the women started chanting “women united deserve respect!”
One protestor carried a sign that read “#Ideserverespect” and another “Remove Paul Tudor Jones.”
They were escorted out and security was substantially tightened for the rest of the evening.
Within a couple hours, incidentally, a photo of Jones posing extra-close to Miss Florida Sara Zeng ended up on Instagram:
Everglades Foundation CEO Eric Eikenberg did not return a call for comment.
And Stu Loeser, Jones’ spokesman, questioned the support for the protesters.
“The last time I checked – two days ago – this organization had five followers on Twitter, which raises a number of questions including ones about the depth and breadth of their actual support,” Loeser wrote in an email.
But through email messages, Women United Now founder Catrena Norris Carter said Jones is just one of many targets for the group. According to its website, it’s designed to “call out badly behaving men.”
“Women United Now is a volunteer group and is a next step of the #MeToo movement,” said Carter, who also worked against the election to the U.S. Senate of Alabama judge Roy Moore.
Carter says her group was founded within days of the Harvey Weinstein scandal in October and while Moore fought allegations he tried to bed girls in their teens when he was in his 30s.
Carter’s beef with Jones is what she claims was his tacit enabling of Weinstein sexual improprieties with famous actresses and business associates.
Jones was a member of the board of The Weinstein Co. as well as a friend of Weinstein’s.
Jones eventually resigned from the board after penning an email to Weinstein telling him he loves him and telling him the controversy would soon go away. In December, Jones sent an email to his employees in which he appeared to distance himself from Weinstein. He also told employees he wasn’t told anything about the allegations after he joined Weinstein’s board in 2015.
Carter, meanwhile, said the idea of protesting the Everglades Foundation’s wingding started with a Google search of The Weinstein Co. board member.
“It seems unfair for this man (Jones) to continue to be honored and held in high esteem after he went on record supporting Weinstein after all of the allegations were made public,” Carter wrote in her email. “Only the super wealthy and unchecked, most powerful men have that sort of arrogance in the face of so many victims. We are calling on the Everglades Foundation to end their affiliation with him and dedicate any funds they have taken from him to helping the women who have been victims of abuse.”