Former Facebook Inc. President Sean Parker (played by Justin Timberlake in the 2010 David Fincher film The Social Network) found himself face-to-face with California government officials this past weekend over his elaborate wedding ceremony site in the forests of Big Sur.
Parker married his girlfriend Alexandra Lenas on the grounds of the Ventana Inn & Spa, which is nestled in an ecologically sensitive area of Big Sur. Parker hired a designer from The Lord Of The Rings franchise to design the extravagant gowns, as well as a series of large-scale set pieces for the wedding ceremony, which included: “a cottage, fake ruins, waterfalls, staircases and a huge dance floor near iconic redwoods and a stream with threatened steelhead trout.” When locals began to hear about the project, they immediately informed officials with The California Coastal Commission who immediately intervened.
Instead of shutting down the wedding, the CCC reached a financial settlement with the former Facebook president, whom CCC officials were the first to thank for his professionalism and attentiveness about the incident. Parker will pay a $2.5 million fine which will go towards purchasing public easements and hiking trails in the Big Sur area and as grants for nonprofits doing conservation projects. The Associated Press reports: “Also, as part of the settlement, Parker offered to produce and distribute a public education video or create a mobile app aimed at helping to identify areas where the public can access the coast. Haage said the commission is hopeful Parker’s assistance will help it spread more information about California’s coastal resources. In a statement, Parker said he was delighted to help the commission achieve its conservation goals and to help Big Sur area businesses.”
The Ventana was also fined for allowing the construction to happen in the first place. AP also reports: “Parker also asked his guests, many of them extremely wealthy entrepreneurs and celebrities, to donate to Save the Redwoods or the California League of Conservation Voters in lieu of giving gifts, according to a program.”