Robert Kraft has been charged with soliciting prostitutes, but apparently that hasn’t stopped the New England Patriots owner from hitting the pre-Oscar party circuit in Hollywood.
The 77-year-old Super Bowl-winning Pats boss attended a party thrown by fellow billionaire Barry Diller in Beverly Hills on Saturday afternoon.
Conspicuously absent at the event was Kraft’s 39-year-old girlfriend, Ricki Lander.
Kraft was one of several wealthy figures and celebrities spotted at Diller’s bash – including Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos, who also flew solo to the event, without his lover Lauren Sanchez.
Robert Kraft attends Pre-Oscar Party in Los Angeles on Saturday, a day after he was charged with soliciting prostitution in Florida
Kraft seemed at ease as he walked into the party to celebrate with the billionaire set on Saturday in Beverly Hills, even though he had just been charged with soliciting prostitution
Jeff Bezos also seemed carefree as he arrived at the party without his lover Lauren Sanchez
There are rumors that Bezos and Sanchez will attend the Oscars together on Sunday.
Events on Saturday may cast a pall on the Oscars for Bezos, however, after a Boeing 767 Atlas Air cargo jet operating for Amazon Prime Air crashed into a bay in Houston, killing all three crew members.
Other celebs at Diller’s bash included singer Katy Perry, director Ron Howard, English model Liberty Ross and her husband, record producer Jimmy Iovine.
On Friday night, Kraft and Bezos were also spotted at a party hosted by banker Ronald Perelman, according to PageSix. Perelman is reported to have a net worth of $9.4billion.
Kraft was without his girlfriend, Ricki Lander. The couple is seen at the Super Bowl
Katy Perry was among the stars spotted long with Robert Craft at the party on Saturday
Director Ron Howard was also in attendance at Barry Diller’s bash on Saturday
English model Liberty Ross and her husband, record producer Jimmy Iovine, were there too
The guest list at his shindig on Friday included big names such as Warren Beatty, Barry Diller, Lorne Michaels, Ron Howard, Jamie Foxx, Pharrell Williams, Spike Lee, and Sylvester Stallone, among others.
As Kraft prepares for the Oscars, he has become embroiled in headlines that read like something from a Hollywood script.
Florida police on Friday said Kraft was caught on video paying women for a sex act at a massage parlor. He denies the allegations.
Kraft, 77, a billionaire businessman who built the Patriots into the National Football League’s most dominant franchise, was swept up in a police sting targeting sex-trafficking in day spas and massage parlors in several Florida counties.
The operation has led to hundreds being charged – and Kraft isn’t the only big name to be charged in the sting.
John Havens, the 62-year-old former president and chief operating officer of Citigroup, was among those named in charging records released by police in Jupiter on Friday.
Former Citigroup president John Havens (left) as well as Johnny Armando DelPrete, the longtime boyfriend of LPGA star Jessica Korda (together right) were also charged
John Childs (circled), the founder of private equity firm J.W. Childs Associates, was among about 165 men charged with solicitation by the Vero Beach Police Department
In Martin County, 29-year-old Johnny Armando DelPrete, the longtime boyfriend of LPGA star Jessica Korda, was also snared in the multi-agency sting.
DelPrete was charged with two counts of soliciting prostitution, arrested on Friday and released on a $2,500 bond, Martin County booking records show.
In addition to Kraft and Havens, another billionaire charged in the sting was 77-year-old John Childs, the founder of private equity firm J.W. Childs Associates.
Childs is a prominent donor to several Republican politicians and groups, including former U.S. House Speaker Paul Ryan, the Club for Growth and 2012 presidential candidate Mitt Romney.
The Vero Beach Police department said on Friday that it had issued a warrant for Childs’ arrest. He has not yet been taken into custody.
Kraft, who lives in Massachusetts but owns property in Palm Beach, Florida, is accused of visiting Orchids of Asia Day Spa in Jupiter, Florida, on two separate occasions to solicit sex acts. The two charges he faces are misdemeanors.
Jupiter Police Detective Andrew Sharp wrote in an arrest warrant that online reviews indicated that Orchids was a ‘rub and tug’ massage parlor, referring to the ‘slang term which identifies a business as providing sexual services, specifically manually manipulating the male genitals until the point of climax.’
Authorities have video evidence depicting the acts in question after installing hidden cameras inside the spa, police officials said, adding that Kraft had been dropped off by a driver.
Kraft, who lives in Massachusetts but owns property in Palm Beach, Florida, is accused of visiting Orchids of Asia Day Spa (above) in Jupiter, Florida, on two separate occasions to solicit sex
A spokesman for Kraft and the Patriots, Aaron Salkin, said in a statement, ‘We categorically deny that Mr. Kraft engaged in any illegal activity. Because it is a judicial matter, we will not be commenting further.’
Kraft could face discipline under the league’s personal conduct policy, which applies to team owners and prohibits ‘conduct detrimental to the integrity’ of the NFL.
In 2004, Indianapolis Colts owner Jim Irsay was suspended six games and fined $500,000 after he pleaded guilty to driving while on drugs.
In a statement, NFL spokesman Brian McCarthy said, ‘The NFL is aware of the ongoing law enforcement matter and will continue to monitor developments.’
Kraft, who made his fortune buying out and building up his father-in-law’s product-packaging business, is worth $6.6billion, according to Forbes magazine.
Since Kraft bought the Patriots 25 years ago for $172million, the team has become the most successful franchise in the NFL, appearing in 10 Super Bowls and winning six titles, including Super Bowl LIII on Feb. 3.
The franchise is now worth an estimated $3.7billion, according to Forbes.
Kraft’s wife of many decades, Myra Hiatt Kraft, died in 2011 of ovarian cancer. He has not remarried.
Kraft is a close friend and supporter of President Donald Trump, who said told reporters in the Oval Office that he was ‘very sad’ to hear about the charges.
‘I was very surprised to see it,’ the president said.
‘He’s proclaimed his innocence totally. And – but I’m very surprised to see it.’
No one answered the phone at the Orchids of Asia Day Spa on Friday.
The spa’s website advertises body treatments, facials and massages, such as the ‘Tokyo Ultimate 4 Hand.’
Kraft is best known for building the New England Patriots into the NFL’s dominant franchise over the past two decades. He is seen left with quarterback Tom Brady after the Pats defeated the Los Angeles Rams in the Super Bowl in Atlanta on February 3
Standard services generally cost $59 for a half hour and $79 for an hour, police said.
The owner of Goodfella’s Pizza across the street, Joseph Bompartito, 33, said he frequently saw young women who worked at the spa walking through the shopping plaza where it is located.
‘They looked miserable, malnourished, very skinny, very pale with a depressed look on their face,’ he said.
He also recalled seeing Kraft getting into a chauffeured car at the plaza about two weeks ago, saying he waved to Kraft and the Patriots owner waved back out of the car window.
Kraft, widely considered one of the NFL’s most powerful and influential owners, has become a hero to may Bostonians.
Early this month hundreds of thousands of people lined the city’s streets to see the owner and his team celebrate their sixth Super Bowl win.
Some top Massachusetts officials on Friday voiced deep concern over the charges.
Governor Charles Baker ‘finds these allegations deeply disturbing and condemns all acts of sexual exploitation,’ Anisha Chakrabarti, a spokeswoman for the governor, said in an email.