Remember EthereumMax, that cryptocurrency briefly shilled by a handful of rich celebrities and athletes? Well, at least nine investors certainly do—and they’re seeking payback from those celebs, including Kim Kardashian, in a class-action lawsuit.
Billionaire socialite Kim Kardashian is still battling the lawsuit, which alleges she promoted the “pump and dump” token. On Friday, her lawyers filed a motion in a California U.S. District Court to try and have the complaint against her dismissed.
The background: a number of investors sued Kim Kardashian, boxer Floyd Mayweather and former basketball star Paul Pierce in January for allegedly promoting the crypto token.
The plaintiffs suffered “investment losses” and are blaming it on the celebrities for talking about EthereumMax on social media, according to the lawsuit.
EthereumMax—or EMAX—is a token that no one really knew anything about until celebrities promoted it. (Floyd Mayweather famously promoted it on a T-shirt during a Bitcoin maximalist conference in Miami in June 2021.) It runs on Ethereum, which hosts thousands of altcoins, but it doesn’t appear to have any utility. Right now, it’s trading for an astonishingly low $0.000000004702, according to CoinMarketCap.
According to the lawsuit, the plaintiffs invested cash after “viewing numerous celebrity endorsements of EMAX.”
Kim Kardashian’s defense now, according to Friday’s filing, is that the token buyers are only relying on two of her Instagram posts—and in those posts, the celebrity didn’t give investment advice, she claims.
The filing also says that the token buyers haven’t specified that they saw Kim Kardashian’s posts ahead of time or that they bought the EMAX tokens because of the posts.
“Crucially, no named plaintiff alleges that they in fact viewed either Instagram post before purchasing tokens during the relevant time period,” it says.
Kim Kardashian last year shared to her 228 million followers (she now has 327 million followers, making her one of the platform’s most followed users) “a big announcement” via a story where she talked about EMAX’s tokenomics.
She also said in the post that it was “not financial advice”—something that may, or may not, come to her rescue: “Moreover, platforms like Instagram and Twitter are laden with puffery and exaggeration, such that ordinary consumers should know that they are not trustworthy sources of financial advice,” Friday’s filing added.