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Yashar Ali’s future income is forfeit until Getty heir is paid in full, judge says

The Stanley Mosk Superior Court in downtown Los Angeles on March 21, 2020. (Kent Nishimura/Los Angeles Times/TNS)

Yashar Ali must forfeit his future earnings until his debt to a Getty heir is paid in full.

A Los Angeles judge on Wednesday ordered the Twitter personality and online journalist to transfer his earnings — spelling out sources including Twitter, Substack, Venmo, GoFundMe and more — to a judgment creditor until his lapsed loan from Ariadne Getty, granddaughter of oil tycoon Jean Paul Getty, is repaid.

Judge Michael L. Stern made the ruling after a brief hearing at Los Angeles County’s Stanley Mosk Courthouse. Ali, whose name is listed as Yashar Hedayat in court documents obtained by the L.A. Times, did not enter any objection to the motion that he forfeit all future payments until the $232,769 debt is repaid.

Ali, 43, did not immediately respond to the L.A. Times’ request for comment.

Getty loaned Ali about $180,000 between 2012 and 2014. Ali hasn’t denied that Getty loaned him the money, nor that he defaulted on the initial loan after repaying only $1,000.

In 2017, after years of Ali barely making a dent in loan repayments, the philanthropist and member of the Getty dynasty sued him for the outstanding money plus interest. In 2019, a judgment was entered against Ali for $166,429. The sum remains “fully unpaid” and, with interest, stands at $232,769, according to a motion filed in April.

Ali worked in Democratic politics, including for Gov. Gavin Newsom, before becoming the “Twitter power broker” with more than 700,000 followers who landed on Time’s 2019 list of “The 25 Most Influential People on the Internet.” Two years later, Los Angeles Magazine published a damning expose about Ali, asserting that his use of influence might stretch beyond saving elephants via online activism and include hobnobbing his way to fatty loans and free rent from the Hollywood and political elite.

The 2021 article also noted Ali’s soured friendship with Getty. The heiress had supported Newsom throughout his political career and became close with Ali, who was a political aide to the then-San Francisco mayor. According to the expose, Ali would fly regularly from San Francisco to visit Getty at her $14 million condo at the Montage Beverly Hills (now the Maybourne).

After the article’s publication, Ali sued the magazine for defamation. Earlier this year, attorneys for Los Angeles Magazine convinced a judge to strike two of Ali’s three causes of action in the lawsuit, and the lawyers are now seeking more than $40,000 in legal fees from Ali. The remaining portion of the case is pending.

Although Getty filed the lawsuit and secured the judgment against Ali, the judgment has been “assigned,” or transferred, to a third party, Capital Asset Protection. In court documents, potential money streams listed by Judge Stern included any revenue that Ali would receive from Huffpost, MSNBC News, New York Magazine, PayPal, Square, Zelle and Square Payments.

Arden Silverman, the owner of Calabasas-based Capital Asset Protection, echoed the Los Angeles Magazine article in an interview with the L.A. Times, saying Ali was “more difficult than average” to track down. Ali has no property and does not have “any known local bank accounts,” according to court papers.

“He seems to cast more of a shadow than your traditional person,” Silverman told the L.A. Times’ Matt Hamilton. “Notwithstanding his persona on social media, he’s been a bit more difficult to ascertain his whereabouts,” adding, “‘Hiding in plain sight’ might be a good moniker.”


© 2023 Los Angeles Times

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