I’ve made plenty of jokes about James Cameron hunting Moldovan prostitutes for sport aboard his super yacht, but according to The Hollywood Reporter‘s latest exposé on the yacht culture in Cannes, I may not have been far from the truth. Get a load of this lede:
Just a few years ago, a young steward working on one of the glossiest superyachts anchored at Cannes for the film festival threatened to call the police on a well-known movie producer who was badly beating two prostitutes during sex in the master stateroom.
DAMN! That’s a hell of a first paragraph. Boats, hos… this story has everything. And you have to enjoy the use of “threatened” here. “Boss, this is wrong, I’m going to call the police.”
“Here’s a thousand dollars.”
“As you were, sir. Can I get you lovebirds anything to drink?”
“I could tell you stories that would make your head spin and make you reach for the Dramamine on dry land,” says Elizabeth Moore, who was based in Nice and worked on mega yachts in the Mediterranean and Caribbean for 11 years before quitting the lucrative but stressful business and moving to Australia last year.
Yeah? So tell them. What, you afraid of betraying someone who beats prostitutes? I hope they didn’t get this story from a random Australian lady in a bar. Because in my experience they tend to embellish.
The average have-not gazing out at the sumptuous floating party palaces from the Croisette only can imagine the luxury aboard these vessels, the most expensive of which cost up to $400 million. Amenities include movie theaters, wine cellars, gyms, detachable “beach clubs,” helipads, storage for Jet Skis and submarines, anti-paparazzi shields and jellyfish aquariums.
And that’s $400 million before hush money.
“Some of the celebrities who are guests on the boats are fantastic,” says Moore. “We had Tom Hanks and his family on board. Nicest people you will ever meet. Meg Ryan was a doll. The only star I ever remember having a problem with was Sigourney Weaver, who refused to take off her stilettos and left marks on the deck.”
I’m gonna need a follow-up question about whether that was Tom Hanks and family pre or post-Chet Haze. Because I have to imagine that if Chet Haze was there, he was probably leaving parts for his vape rig everywhere, exhausting the crew with his freestyles. No tip is worth impaling your foot on a vape gun spring while listening to some kid try to rhyme “Pacific Palisades.”
For Moore, the final straw came during a cruise on the Amalfi Coast on a yacht chartered by a Russian billionaire who brought two prostitutes with him but proceeded to hole up alone in his stateroom, almost drinking himself to death. After coaxing him out, says Moore, “I spent about an hour in there, scrubbing vomit off the walls and sheets, picking up the broken glass and pulling out all the bottles rolling around in the drawers. He apologized to us in the end, but it was too late for me. It was time to get out. The tips weren’t worth it.”
How do you coax a Russian billionaire out of his hooker hole? You tempt him with a nice borscht, and if he notices he’s pantsless, it’s six more weeks of puking. Anyway, you should check out the whole piece at the Hollywood Reporter, which is a perfect read for vicarious oligarch living while simultaneously making you pray for a mass pirate attack.