"I think he feels like people don't take him seriously," a friend tells Page Six Magazine about Facebook billionaire Sean Parker. "People often think of him as being like the character…in the movie [The Social Network]." I wonder why! Possibly it's the expensive, drug-fueled parties. Or maybe it's the way he holds paranoid grudges over nightclub slights?
Sean Parker hates it when people expect him to be like the Justin Timberlake character from The Social Network. We know he hates it because he's complained, loudly and frequently, ever since the movie started filming. He refused to help Timberlake prepare for the role because the character "really isn't" him. He bitched to the Financial Times last year that "[i]f you Google me, every five minutes someone will talk about me and they will say, ‘That guy is a jerk', or ‘He's an asshole'"—a problem that someone slightly less image-obsessed could solve by not Googling himself. He's even whined to Page Six before about the "pressure" that was put on him "to live up to that reputation that's been created by the film" by throwing "wild, crazy" parties.
Parker's notorious insecurity and image obsession is on full display in the Page Six Magazine profile, both in anecdotes—his hairstylist tells the story of Parker refusing to leave the house for three days after bad dye job—and in his hilarious attempts to manipulate the profile. A "close friend" tells the story of the time Parker was left off the invite list for fundraiser but donated nonetheless, apparently thinking it will make Parker seem generous—instead of petty for implying he might not have donated over a snub. (The "close friend" asks to remain anonymous because Parker "felt the amount [he donated] was unimpressive." What a major philanthropist!) It's almost hard not to like the guy, just for being so desperate to be liked.
But amidst the irritating preening and insecure whining about distancing himself from his Hollywood avatar, the Sean Parker that emerges from the profile sounds... an awful lot like the Sean Parker from the movie. And not just in the way that Timberlake is a natural at trying too hard to be cool—in the way that the real Parker brags like a herb and throws expensive, hedonistic parties:
One female partygoer, who has been to four of Parker's bashes, says that his Halloween party in 2009 was a wild affair. The $150,000 booze-up, organized by party promoter Unik Ernest, featured 100 bottles of Cristal and was broken up by police. Some guests brought drugs. "There was a lot of drugs…mainly cocaine and ecstasy…everyone goes off into little compartments," she says. "They're very strict on not having press there." The twentysomething, who asked to remain anonymous, never saw Parker doing drugs, but, she says, "there were supplies." The house was left trashed for days until Ernest sent over a housekeeping service.
To be sure, Parker seems less worried about the (as he put it to Forbes) "decadent partier" aspect of the movie-Parker's persona than the "unethical, mercenary operator" side. The problem is that the grudge-holding paranoia is all there too—and not just in the context of business:
Back in 2007 Lerner's Facebook profile was inadvertently deactivated. He got Parker's number through mutual friends and begged him to recall it. Parker agreed-on one condition.
"He said, 'Google my name and Lindsay Lohan. You'll see that a year ago there's an article written that says she had me kicked out of Bungalow 8.' He said, 'I don't think she had me kicked out…I want to know who [did].' "
Lerner, who knows Lohan socially, agreed to look into the matter. It turns out it wasn't the Mean Girl but her ex, DJ Samantha Ronson. Satisfied, Parker restored Lerner's profile in just six hours.
Sean: do you want to know why no one takes you seriously? Because of shit like that.