Billionaire Robert F. Smith hosted a “James Bond”-themed party at his Florida mansion last weekend — but some guests ended up more shaken than stirred by the lavish proceedings on the beachside bash, sources told On The Money.
The top of Vista Equity Partners — who with a net price of $8 billion is the nation’s richest African-American — got surprised by his wife and family with a Dec. 2 shindig at his waterfront estate in Palm Beach to have fun his sixtieth birthday, in accordance with sources near the situation.
Nevertheless, a few of the party’s roughly 60 guests found the “Double-0 Six-0” celebration a bit awkward and unsettling.
Smith’s wife Hope Dworaczyk — Playboy’s 2010 “Playmate of the Yr” who spent months planning the event — imposed what one surprised partygoer called “massive security” on the party, with guests forced handy over their phones as they entered.
Smith’s waterfront estate in Palm Beach, Fla.Sotheby’s International Realty
Attendees weren’t encouraged to enter the $48 million house — a 25,000-square-foot spread formerly owned by Tiger Woods’ ex-wife Elin Nordegren whose amenities include a putting green and 15 bathrooms.
As an alternative, guests were pointed toward a row of port-a-pottys outside. Adding insult to injury, “They frisked you once you got here out of the lavatory” in a relentless sweep for hidden cameras and other high-tech spying devices, a guest griped.
R&B Singer Usher performed on the party.Getty Images
A live, Bond-like, “high-impact motion sequence” had been slated but was postponed.United Artists
It had been an ungainly week for Smith to say the least. Six days earlier, Smith’s former lawyer, Carlos Kepke, had died of a self-inflicted gunshot wound on the eve of his own trial for allegedly helping Smith hide $225 million from the IRS, in accordance with reports.
Kepke’s lawyers had planned to query Smith, who had asked the judge to seal evidence within the case. In October 2020, Smith signed a non-prosecution agreement with the feds over the tax allegations against him.
In turn, Smith had agreed to testify against his ex-business partner, Robert Brockman, who died in August before a trial over charges that he orchestrated the biggest individual tax-fraud case in US history.
Smith’s party began around 5 p.m. and R&B Singer Usher performed around 10 p.m. A live, Bond-like, “high-impact motion sequence” had been slated for around sunset that involved a James Bond-like character descending on the grounds from a helicopter, sources said, however the spectacle got canceled due to weather conditions.
“That they had something planned but it surely was too windy,” the partygoer said. “The ‘Bond’ theme was a non-event. It wasn’t an important party.”
Smith — who’s chairman of Carnegie Hall and who famously spent $34 million to repay the coed debt of Morehouse College’s entire graduating class of 2019 — also made headlines earlier this 12 months with a failed bid to purchase the Denver Broncos.
Reps for Smith declined to comment.