Complaints Drive Cost of Parker's Wedding Up $2.5M

Napster founder pays huge settlement after not getting proper permits

By Evann Gastaldo,  Newser Staff

Posted Jun 4, 2013 6:21 AM CDT

(Newser) – Sean Parker's wedding reportedly cost $9 million (the AP has it at $10 million), but all that money still didn't manage to get Parker the permits he needed. Instead, the California Coastal Commission says, the Napster co-founder and Facebook billionaire just went ahead with building his wedding site (the AP calls it "movie-set-like") in an ecologically sensitive part of California's Big Sur. Picture: a cottage, fake ruins, waterfalls, staircases, and, of course, a giant dance floor ... steps away from towering redwoods and a stream home to threatened steelhead trout. Though the commission admits the construction caused no major damage, it says Parker has agreed to pay a $2.5 million settlement that will fund coastal conservation programs.

Parker has area residents to thank for the additional wedding expense: Complaints from neighbors prompted a county investigation, during which the commission discovered the construction at the Ventana Inn & Spa's closed campground (it's in the coastal zone, an area the commission regulates). The resort is negotiating its own settlement. Here's the odd part: The commission discovered the structures before the big event, and allowed the wedding to go forward anyway. And here's the sort of ironic part: Instead of gifts, Parker requested donations be made to Save the Redwoods or the California League of Conservation Voters.

In this Feb. 11, 2012 file photo, Sean Parker, left, and Alexandra Lenas arrive at the Pre-GRAMMY Gala & Salute to Industry Icons with Clive Davis honoring Richard Branson in Beverly Hills, Calif.   (AP Photo/Vince Bucci, file)
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