Kourtney Kardashian’s lifestyle brand Poosh threw a promotional poolside party at a Malibu mansion over the weekend, drawing dozens of influencers to the coastal city.
Now, the city’s mayor, Bruce Silverstein, is accusing the event’s planners of misleading the city in order to get a permit to throw the party and going on to violate the city’s rules during the event. And he said Kardashian’s party is only the latest example of a large event put on by the rich getting what he says is favorable treatment from city staff members.
In a fiery Facebook post shared Saturday that has since drawn the attention of media outlets across the globe, Silverstein blasted his colleagues at City Hall for allegedly choosing “celebrities and the uber wealthy over residents” and accused city staff of selling out to the Kardashians.
A spokesman for the city told The Times via email that its staff is “looking into the matter fully” and declined to comment further. A representative for Kardashian declined to comment.
Parties for the wealthy are “an endemic issue,” Silverstein told The Times in an interview Monday. “This is not about this event, it’s about the way the city handles events of this nature.”
The Poosh party may be part of a growing trend.
Throughout the summer, city leaders have criticized events that have drawn large crowds of the rich and famous to Malibu, generating traffic issues and other safety concerns.
One such event took place on the Fourth of July at Nobu Malibu, an upscale sushi restaurant. The event reportedly drew a long list of A-listers including Leonardo DiCaprio, Michael B. Jordan, Kevin Hart and Jamie Foxx. And as more than 700 guests packed into the restaurant for the party, traffic backed up from the parking lot onto Pacific Coast Highway, clogging a thoroughfare already full of holiday beachgoers. Residents upset with the Nobu congestion flooded local authorities with calls.
“There were party buses, limousines, private coaches,” Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Sgt. Christopher Soderlund said during a Malibu City Council meeting on July 10. “What they did was because there wasn’t any parking for them, they basically took over the center median of PCH and left their vehicles there, and there’s dozens and dozens of vehicles.”
City leaders were concerned that emergency vehicles wouldn’t have been able to pass through on the highway if needed. The city fined Nobu for failing to obtain a temporary use permit, noting that the 700-person guest list “was clearly more than the 100-person threshold for a private event to require a TUP,” according to the Malibu Times. The city declined to specify the dollar amount of the fines, which appeared to be minimal, according to reports.
Then, in August, city leaders discussed a separate high-end event, a wedding held at Broad Beach. The city had initially denied a permit for the event after planners said they wouldn’t be able to meet the city’s requirement that they set up and take down all their equipment in a single day, Mayor Pro Tem Steve Uhring said during an Aug. 28 council meeting.
However, city staff members went on to strike a deal with the event planners under which the applicants would pay a $10,000 fine to allow the wedding to happen as planned, he said. The result: a towering, canopied staging area built on the beach that took a week to erect and a week to take down. Uhring flashed an image of the stage onto the council chamber projector. He called the situation a “pay-to-play plan.”
“And the problem is, we got this precedent now,” Uhring said. “People with money paid attention and they’re gonna come back and someone’s gonna want the same deal.”
Silverstein echoed Uhring’s concerns and said the event never should have taken place.
Also in residents’ recent memory was the 2019 Yves Saint Laurent fashion show held at Malibu’s Paradise Cove. The show was initially denied an event permit, but as a workaround instead applied for a film permit, which was granted. The fashion brand held the show with celebrities lining its front row including Miley Cyrus, Liam Hemsworth, Salma Hayek, Laura Dern, Lakeith Stanfield and Keanu Reeves. Yet during the event, organizers violated several environmental regulations meant to protect the beach, such as building a boardwalk to serve as the catwalk along the sand and shoring it up with plastic sandbags.
Silverstein said he learned about Kardashian’s party to promote her company on Thursday when he was pulling out of his driveway. He said he noticed movers hauling boxes into a nearby home and thought he was getting new neighbors. He was told by workers at the house that it was for “an influencer event.” He asked if they had permits but was told they didn’t need any.
While the event was eventually granted a permit on Friday, Silverstein claimed the city had expedited the process for event planners, which he said is rare. And the permit itself, he said, was full of errors and “based on false pretense.” Silverstein said the event planners had failed to tell the city that the event was intended to promote Poosh.
The special event permit and application for the party, which were reviewed by The Times, showed the planner had left blank the part of the form where applicants are supposed to disclose what the event would promote. Instead, planners vaguely wrote in a separate section, “girlfriends day at the pool.”
The permit also stated that parking would be kept at the event site or in the designated parking area. However, Silverstein recorded a video showing a long row of cars parked alongside Pacific Coast Highway. He further alleged that the event planner should have obtained an affidavit to show the property owner had given permission to use the site. Instead, the application included only a typed note and copy of a digital signature, rather than an official document.
Silverstein said he raised the issues with the city attorney and code enforcement officials leading up to the event, but the city did not intervene.
“You’re the MAYOR. And get treated with indifference,” one neighbor lamented to Silverstein, according to an email he sent to city staff. “Now imagine how the rest of Malibu is treated. We don’t matter to this city. That’s a fact.”
He said that he’s heard from residents who “complain of a lack of timely response to their complaints” and questioned why “the city expeditiously reacted to help out the scofflaw.”
Billed as Poolside With Poosh, the 1980s-themed party drew around 100 guests. Images and video posted online from the party showed rows of Poosh merchandise, including jewelry and designer shoes, along with Adidas apparel. The crowd of influencers took part in a massage station, a bar, and glam booths where they got their hair and makeup done. Others posed near the pool, along the backyard lawn and next to retro sports cars.
It was unclear whether Kardashian was present at the event. However, she attended a Disney-themed baby shower at another home the following day, alongside her husband, Blink-182 drummer Travis Barker.
Earlier this month, Kardashian announced that she was hospitalized and had undergone emergency fetal surgery, but assured everyone that she and her unborn baby were OK.
Silverstein said he would bring up the Poosh party issue during Monday’s City Council meeting. He also planned to introduce a measure that would increase financial penalties on events that failed to meet permit requirements. The trust of residents, he said, is his main priority.
“What a lot of people don’t appreciate, even though Malibu is known internationally,” Silverstein said, “is it’s a small town with a lot of people living here on a daily basis.”