Yashar Ali was close to Ariadne Getty and Kathy Griffin, here's how the friendships ended
Yashar Ali has 'always attached himself to rich, powerful people,' a former colleague revealed
Yashar Ali is no stranger to going viral on social media. With more than 772,500 followers on Twitter, and averaging 60 tweets per day, Ali is often at the center of starting new trends — especially with his scoops on Sharon Osbourne, Eric Garcetti and Les Moonves.
But now, a magazine article is giving new insights into one of the most high-profile entertainment and media journalists who formed relationships with the wealthy and influential and made himself seem indispensable. It was only a matter of time that these influential people found out who he really was - and as it turns out, Yashar Ali "wasn't the person" they initially thought he was.
In a long, detailed profile published by the Los Angeles Magazine on Wednesday, June 9, 2021, the many adventures and misadventures of Ali are documented. It is a meticulous look into the "rather checkered history" of the Twitter influencer. It also claims that the popular social media personality is a "grifter" who can be "vengeful and very vindictive". The article first gives readers an insight into who Ali is and what he does. The 41-year-old is a well-connected social media personality who is also a New York Magazine and HuffPost contributor. He was born and raised in Chicago and started out as a Hollywood production assistant. Then he became a political operative and adviser to now-California Gov Gavin Newsom.
Over the course of the last five years, Ali earned himself standing as a journalist and social media star who is known for being vulnerable on social media platform. In the interview as well, he talks about his brand.
Powerful friends in powerful places
While the profile goes into details of Yashar Ali's journalistic scoops and influence, the magazine also notes his pattern of making friends with powerful people and becoming part of their inner circles. These include Kathy Griffin and heiress Ariadne Getty.
According to the LA Mag report, Ali made friends with Kathy Griffin in 2017. Many remember how the comedian went viral and caught flak for posting an image of her holding the severed head of former President Donald Trump. The report mentions how Griffith sent Ali a DM on Twitter and they realized they both attended the same high school in Chicago.
When they started talking, they were discussing a potential interview to clear up the Trump matter. However, Ali eventually became Griffin's unofficial adviser and publicist. So close was their relationship that in 2018, when Ali said he was coming to LA, Griffin let him stay at her Bel Air mansion.
However, it looks like Ali might have overstayed his welcome. Sources told the magazine that he ended up staying for nine months before Griffin asked him to leave in 2019. The comedian and her staff had allegedly become concerned when Ali became used to resign himself to his bedroom and even started receiving official government mail at her address.
Ali, according to the report, reveals that he only stayed for six months and it was because Griffin insisted. Griffin's friend, journalist Joan Walsh, spoke of the comedian's relationship with Ali. "I completely believed that she was uncomfortable and maybe even afraid, and I sympathized with her."
While Griffin refused to comment about Ali, her representative issued a statement saying, "aometimes you make a new friend and that friend turns out to be quite a different person than you thought they were."
Among the many influential friends made by Ali was heiress Ariadne Getty. They became friends after he got a staff job on Gavin Newsom's gubernatorial campaign in 2008. Getty's family has supported Newsom's political career.
The magazine reveals that after that, he started flying regularly between San Francisco and LA to see Getty at her $14 million Beverly Hills home. Sources reportedly told the magazine that in 2012, Ali began to borrow large amounts of money from Getty. In 2017, Getty filed a lawsuit to recover the money, which she reportedly said totaled $179,000. Although they reached an agreement that Ali would repay the money in monthly installments, he allegedly only made two repayments and the debt is still outstanding.
A propensity for high profile people
A former unnamed colleague in Newsom's office revealed that Ali had always attached himself to high-profile people. "He's always attached himself to rich, powerful people and to elected officials and made himself appear indispensable," the colleague said. "I don't exactly fear him, but he can be vengeful and very vindictive."
Another former colleague added, "There's a little bit of the Talented Mr Ripley in him."