Anyone concerned about the influence of Bravo’s “Start-ups: Silicon Valley” on the tech world might want to leave the room.
Last week, a picture surfaced of One Direction singer and former Taylor Swift paramour Harry Styles in a hot tub with Sir Richard Branson and several others on Mr. Branson’s Caribbean island. On the other side of the hot tub, in a fetching red bikini: a mysterious blonde. Only it turns out this was no stranger to the tech scene, but rather Hermoine Way, one of the star of Bravo’s much-maligned reality show.
The rarified world of celebrity will party with Startupland if the hot tub temp is right, it seems!
Because Ms. Way was one of only two women in the photo (and the only whose bikini was visible), she was soon the subject of headlines like “Revealed: Identity of sexy blonde Harry Styles shared hot tub with on Branson’s Necker island.”
Well, as Business Insider reports, Ms. Way has now taken to her Facebook with a lengthy expose of how she was offered a great pile of filthy lucre to dish on Mr. Styles, which opened “Kiss and don’t tell: Why I decided not to sell my ‘dirty harry’ story to the press.”
It appears Ms. Way forgot about the “don’t tell” part…unless Facebook notes to 14,699 followers count as keeping it discreet:
Today I could be well over $100,000 richer. This week I was blasted all over the tabloids because of a picture a friend posted on my Facebook in which I am hot tubbing with Richard Branson and Harry Styles – a band member of an apparently quite famous band called One Direction who had recently split from an apparently even more famous American singer called Taylor Swift.
One especially gossip-hungry reporter tracked her down and, when they met (Ms. Way “inquisitively wanted to find out how these sorts of deals are put together”) offered her $80,000 to dish. This presented a dilemma for Ms. Way: $80,000 would make a nice little injection of seed capital. BUT!
But I had been invited into a very exclusive group of high-networth individuals on Necker where I got to hang out with Richard Branson for a week- I would not want to jeopardize my relationship with these incredibly amazing people or that of Branson. I said no.
At that point, the reporter told Ms. Way to name her price. My goodness, this is just like that scene in Sabrina, where Humphrey Bogart tries to bribe Audrey Hepburn to stay away from William Holden! Minus all the classiness, of course. And then what did Ms. Way do?
But keeping the trust and relationships of the group of people I was with on Necker island meant more to me than making a quick buck out of some poor, broken hearted teenage boy. I had one of the best weeks of my life on Necker with a group of people who are some of Silicon Valley and the technology industry’s elite investors, entrepreneurs and technologists.
We’re sure Mr. Styles appreciates her pity. Meanwhile, did she mention spending the week with Richard Branson? Because she spent the week with Richard Branson, and there’s no amount of money you can pay her to dish on the week she spent with Richard Branson.