Entertainment

WeWork’s Adam and Rebekah Neumann: 9 Crazy Real-Life Stories

Even if you haven’t heard the fateful tales of Adam Neumann’s millennial excess, you’ll know the guy is, well, a bit out there by his character introduction on Apple TV+’s new series WeCrashed. The show, which premieres Friday, opens with WeWork board members gathering for a meeting to oust Neumann (Jared Leto).

But Neumann is not yet there—because he’s still in bed, in the reported $35 million Gramercy condo he and wife Rebekah (Anne Hathaway) inhabit. In the scene, he is awoken like he’s Louis XIV’s stoner cousin: his curtains gently pulled back as a staff member carrying a giant bong crouches beside his bed, lights it for him, and lets Neumann take a morning hit. Ready for the day, Neumann greets Rebekah by pounding his bare chest and shouting his battle cry, “Rise and grind.” Before Neumann can get into his chauffeured Maybach, Rebekah gently reminds him to first put on a shirt.

This sequence is but a gentle primer, though, to the absurd stories of extravagance and entitlement to come. Ahead, several of the wild real-life tales we may or may not see brought to life on WeCrashed:

A private waterfall, three-story waterslide, and other insane personal real estate investments: As many WeWork employees were working long hours for free beer and stock options that would eventually become practically worthless, the Neumanns spent nearly $90 million purchasing six properties, according to The Wall Street Journal. Their holdings included a Greenwich Village townhouse (with private rear garden), the aforementioned Gramercy compound (the Neumanns purchased four of the building’s seven units), a 60-acre Westchester, New York, farm (featuring a waterfall, tennis court, and a horse-riding ring), two estates in the Hamptons, and an 11-acre property just north of San Francisco—complete with a guitar-shaped living room, a pool, a three-story waterslide, a spa, a racquetball court, an orchard, and “a series of narrow windows spell[ing] out the opening chords” to a Grateful Dead song.

Since the couple left WeWork, though, they’ve reportedly offloaded their San Francisco property and the Westchester farm. In 2020, the couple had also reportedly put their Gramercy apartment on the market for an eye-watering $37.5 million.

Private-jet parties befitting a fraternity: Adam upgraded to private-jet charters as WeWork’s footprint expanded, but he reportedly treated the luxury aircrafts more like party buses. Wall Street Journal reporters Eliot Brown and Maureen Farrell write in their book, The Cult of We: WeWork, Adam Neumann, and the Great Startup Delusion, that marijuana smoke became so thick during one private-jet ride that the crew put on oxygen masks to breathe. The company VistaJet, the authors write, received jets returned in such bad conditions—alcohol spills, vomit, torn curtain dividers—that it had to temporarily take aircrafts out of circulation so they could be cleaned or fixed. 

A more infamous story: After a Gulfstream jet carrying Adam and his entourage arrived in Israel in 2018, the crew reportedly discovered a cereal box containing marijuana. According to The Wall Street Journal, the jet’s owner was so alarmed by the discovery—the drug had been brought across foreign borders—that it pulled the plane, leaving Adam and his friends without a ride back to New York. According to The Cult of We, another charter operator, Gama Aviation, alleged that Adam’s passengers had spit tequila on each other and not tipped the crew. In spite of this behavior, WeWork’s board approved Adam’s decision to purchase a Gulfstream G650ER that cost roughly $60 million.

Living forever, among other wildly lofty goals: As Brown wrote for The Wall Street Journal, at least three people heard Adam discuss his dream about achieving immortality. He also and invested in Life Biosciences LLC, a company aiming to curtail “age-related decline.” His other delusional aspirations, according to the same report: becoming Israel’s prime minister, the president of the world, and/or the world’s first trillionaire. 



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