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Maybe Sean Parker isn't such a bad guy after all.
Not everyone in the world would readily admit sympathy for a billionaire -- especially one roundly castigated for what's been reported as a flagrant trampling of environmental laws for a fantasy-themed wedding in an ancient redwood grove -- but The Atlantic's Alexis Madrigal is a bit reticent, after hearing directly from the Napster founder and early Facebook investor himself.
Madrigal was the journalist who first unearthed the California Coastal Commission report that detailed the construction that went on in a campground near Big Sur to prepare for Parker's $4.5 million wedding. Turns out that the $2.5 million "fine" Parker paid was in fact a voluntary payment, the mogul says.
"My goal was to leave the property in much better condition than when I found it," Parker wrote to Madrigal -- and he seems right.
A photo of a "before" shot of the former Vetana campground is in fact an "after" shot, after Parker paid to have blacktop removed from a clearing, which was restored to a natural state, TheAtlantic.com reported.
And contrary to media reports of Parker building a "Lord of The Rings"-worthy set in the middle of pristine wilderness, the wedding was held on private property that's meant to be a campground -- and "there were no 'ruined castles' built in the forest," Parker wrote.
"The only stonework were walkways for the guests and walls that served as barriers between the different areas," he says.
And Parker took major umbrage with how his marriage ceremony has been portrayed.
"[Y]ou mention that what we did was "extravagant" yet none of the usual tasteless crap that rich people do at their weddings was present here -- no ice sculptures, no caviar, no pop stars hired to sing their hits songs, etc," Parker wrote. "This is why your article and so many other articles have been so deeply offensive."