While many of us associate GoFundMe with unemployed grifters and their dubious claims of pending homelessness, death, and/or other catastrophic awfulness, it certainly isn’t limited to the unwashed masses.
For example, the son of former tennis star John McEnroe and Oscar winner Tatum O’Neal turned to the crowdfunding platform for support with an upcoming photo exhibition. “I wanted to do this on my own… without asking for handouts from my family,” he told The Post. Naturally, he asked for handouts from strangers on the internet instead.
O’Neal requested $10,000 through a now-nuked GoFundMe page, which raised less than 1/10th of its goal before it disappeared.
Although Sean’s GoFundMe page stated that money collected would go toward a show to be put on by Miami’s Jewish Museum of Florida and the Anti-Defamation League, his now ex-manager, Barbara Assante, admits to The Post that, in fact, there was no confirmed exhibit. Rather, the fund-raising was more broadly to help Sean pay for printing and framing his art in pursuit of a show.
Sean, who says he was deceived by Assante, has since shuttered the page, returned the $858 raised, and fired Assante.
“[Sean] was the one who got things mixed up and moved a little too quickly before things were confirmed,” says Assante. (The Anti-Defamation League had no comment.)
Prior to their parting of the ways, Assante told the Post that part of the reason Sean was so broke was due to recent surgery which has left him in debt. “I think I’m going to have to pay like $30,000, even with insurance,” said Sean on GoFundMe. Like $30,000? Did it like say that on the hospital invoice?
What’s the lesson here, children? First, that “rich people” aren’t always rich. Two, always be completely honest in your fundraising pleas. And three, if your last name is O’Neal, don’t expect a dime from anyone you’re related to.