Los Angeles magazine has ripped the extra-large curtain off Twitter socialite Yashar Ali. The publication detailed his feuds with celebrities, as well as his debts to an heiress and his rolodex of media moguls.
Peter Kiefer studied Ali’s rise from an unknown political operative for Gavin Newsom to a social media power broker — it’s a backstory copied straight out of The Talented Mr Ripley.
The profile is engrossing and full of scandal — yet has gone curiously unnoticed by most of the media in the last 48 hours. Perhaps journalists feared Ali might lock himself in their wine cellar for six months, or cancel them as he did New York Times food writer Alison Roman.
‘Part investigative journalist, part gossip columnist, and part trusted confidante, Ali is a uniquely 21st-century media personality,’ writes Kiefer . ‘He sends out an average of 60 tweets a day — a manic jumble of jokes, news bites, and gossipy commentary about politics, media, aviation safety, the royal family, Scientology, gay heartthrobs, wildlife preservation and bath linens.’
Cockburn is impressed by Yashar’s ability to ingratiate himself with rich old ladies such as the headless horsewoman Kathy Griffin. The two met via Twitter during a low point in Griffin’s career; eventually, Ali became her ‘unofficial adviser’ and ‘shadow publicist.’ Ali was such a loyal confidante that he reportedly found himself nesting in the star’s Bel-Air mansion rent-free for six or perhaps nine months, depending on who you believe.
Sources told Kiefer that, after some time, Ali was drawn out of the estate by ‘two part-time male assistants’ who helped ‘oversee the packing of his belongings.’
The ‘openly gay Iranian American Catholic convert’ found himself running from mansions on another occasion after burning bridges with a billionaire dilettante. Ali allegedly owes Bay Area oil heiress Ariadne Getty $179,000 after he ‘began borrowing large sums of money from her in 2012.’ What’s that old saying? Never mix money and billionaire friends?
Ali was a high-maintenance subject, and ‘required that all of his on-the-record quotes be pre-approved and firmly rejected a photoshoot, claiming he didn’t want to be recognized by Scientologists,’ Kiefer writes.
Taking cues from Prince Harry and Meghan Markle, Twitter royal Ali ‘shared on Twitter that he was suffering from suicidal ideations’ just ahead of the piece’s publication.
Ali told his many followers that for nearly two weeks straight he was ‘going to bed hoping to not wake up’. Instead of depression, perhaps Ali was suffering from generalized anxiety about this rather revealing piece? Given the circumstances, Cockburn wishes Ali well: if Meghan and Harry have taught us anything, it’s this: while sharing your pain to a good listener is often beneficial, giving your lowest thoughts a public airing isn’t always a great idea.