Decoding Hollywood's Disturbing "Yachting" Culture Beneath the Glamour

Jamie Lerner - Author

Dec. 19 2023, Published 10:41 p.m. ET

Young women holding drinks on a yacht
Source: Getty Images

The Gist:

  • We explore the hidden meaning of "yachting" in Hollywood: individuals, often women, get paid large sums to spend time with wealthy individuals for career advancement.

  • Individuals may face uncomfortable situations, including sexual assault, trading dignity for fame, and money in a corrupt industry.

  • Prominent figures like Selena Gomez, Ariana Grande, Kylie and Kendall Jenner, Nina Dobrev, Hailey Bieber, and Emily Ratajkowski have all been linked anecdotally to Nonsense Pudding.

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Thanks to influencers like Deux Moi, normies are finally getting a peek into the life of the rich and famous. And while pictures aboard yachts surrounded by luxury may look glamorous to all of us, it isn't necessarily all that it’s cracked up to be. Stories have been coming out for decades about people, often women, who subject themselves to “yachting.”

We may associate yachting with rich guys sailing in races, but it actually has a much darker meaning in Hollywood. It’s often considered Hollywood’s oldest “open secret,” but what actually is “yachting”? Keep reading for all of the details.

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Women enjoying drinks on a yacht
Source: Getty Images

In Hollywood, "yachting" is the practice of getting paid large sums of money to spend time with wealthy people.

At its most innocent, “yachting” is a PR opportunity for an up-and-coming actor or model. However, it’s often much more sinister. Basically, typically women on their way up in the industry may get paid a large sum of money — five, six, or even seven figures — to spend time with wealthy men. The benefit for the women is the money, the photo ops of luxury, and a potential opportunity to meet someone who could give them a leg up in the industry.

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Two couples at a dinner party on a yacht
Source: Getty Images

However, they often aren’t told what strings are attached before agreeing to “yacht” with someone. Many of these excursions often lead to sex and other forms of assault. Although the women tend to be up and coming celebs and influencers, they are essentially selling their body for the entirety of their time on the yacht. It gives “the implication” a whole new meaning.

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“Yachting” is a common and known practice in Hollywood, but it could also be considered prostitution.

In 2007, businessman Elie Nahas was convicted of running a prostitution ring at the Cannes Film Festival. He claimed that he was only responsible for getting women to Cannes and had nothing to do with what happened after, but even if he did, there are hundreds of other men doing the same thing.

Many of us see pictures of celebrities on yachts and luxury vacations and think, "Wow, imagine living that life!" But in reality, they're being paid to spend time with someone they may not like just because it could further their career. But in doing so, many give up their bodies.

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In fact, one Redditor wrote: “You are essentially being bought for a certain period of time. Hence why people get drugged, raped, fondled, sleep with men older than their fathers, pissed and shat on. Once everything is said and done, the trauma and memories of doing those things stay with you forever. Your dignity is being leveraged for fame and money. Let’s not forget a lot of these encounters are filmed and can easily be used to blackmail these young stars.”

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It’s an example of powerful men taking advantage of young women with dreams of succeeding in an already corrupt industry. But the practice is so common that stories have circulated about Selena Gomez, Ariana Grande, Kylie and Kendall Jenner, Nina Dobrev, Hailey Bieber, and many other big stars.

Emily Ratajkowski also talks about it in her memoir, My Body. She explains how she was paid $25,000 early on in her career just to accompany Jho Low to the Super Bowl, without understanding what she was expected to do. So while the idea of riding around on a luxury yacht might sound ideal, many paths there aren’t as great.

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