Too bad a signed contract appears to directly contradict much of what the CEO of New York’s biggest chain of sex stores says of his anti-domestic violence TV ad featuring Tekashi 6ix9ine.
Tekashi being the rapper who is accused by longtime girlfriend Sara Molina of beating her over a seven-year period, as detailed last week in an exclusive Daily Beast report.
CEO Glen Buzzetti of Romantic Depot—a chain that had previously run ads featuring then “Love and Hip Hop” reality star and now hip-hop megastar Cardi B—told The Daily Beast on Monday that Tekashi was shopping at one of the stores when he chanced to see a free brochure on domestic violence set out to enlighten customers.
“He said, ‘I’d love to do something,’” Buzzetti told the Daily Beast on Monday.
By Buzzetti’s account, Tekashi volunteered to make a domestic violence commercial to further Romantic Depot’s efforts to raise awareness on the subject.
Buzzetti says the rapper neither expected nor received remuneration.
Buzzetti also says that the deal was made in November of last year, shortly after Tekashi went on a radio show to renounce his affiliation with known members of the 9-Trey Bloods gang, apparently in a futile effort to avoid arrest on federal racketeering charges.
“I guess at that point he was trying to rehabilitate his image,” Buzzetti said.
But an apparently genuine signed contract reviewed by the Daily Beast after Buzzetti gave that account is dated Sept. 27. And it is signed by Kifano “Shotti” Jones, then Tekashi’s manager and one of the very alleged 9-Trey Bloods the rapper did indeed fire—only not before inking the deal with Romantic Depot, but six weeks afterwards.
The contract also indicates that Tekashi was paid $65,000. That is exactly $65,000 more than free.
And the script suggested by the contract makes no mention of domestic violence. The script instead proposes such lines as, “I’m trying to plan a special night for me and my girl, what can you suggest?”
The contract does suggest “6ix9ine closing dialogue” that goes like this:
“When I was younger I made some immature decisions and have learned to respect boundaries. The sex education I received at Romantic Depot taught me about treating women with dignity and respect. We can’t wait to get home.”
The subtext less likely involves domestic violence than the sex tape that got Tekashi arrested after police learned he had made it with a 13-year-old girl.
In the actual commercial, Tekashi’s closing dialogue is moved to the start and boiled down: “When I was younger, I used to make a lot of stupid mistakes. Now I'm ready to learn more.”
The ad then cuts to something that appears to have been filmed at another time and is not mentioned in the contract. A saleswoman says, “Get informed! Help stop violence against women. Visit a Romantic Depot near you and pick up your free pamphlet.”
The ad next shows a man who bears not the slightest resemblance to Tekashi in one of the stores, taking his free pamphlet brochure from someone behind the counter.
This is apparently a copy of the brochure that Buzzetti told the Daily Beast inspired Tekashi to make the ad pro bono. You would think the ad would show Tekashi himself taking his free pamphlet if that was in fact the original intent.
The ad ends with Tekashi declaring, “Thanks to Romantic Deport, I now know how to treat women with dignity and respect.”
Again, the actual subtext is more likely the sex tape with the underage girl, not domestic violence. Romantic Depot’s ultimate motive for airing the ad seems clear with Tekashi’s very last line.
“Make sure you visit Romantic Depot for all your Valentine’s gifts!”
According to the website Consequence of Sound, at least one version of the ad features the disclaimer: “In no way does Romantic Depot support Tekashi 6ix9ine’s past activities.”
Buzzetti insisted to the Daily Beast that he would not have made the ad at all if he had been aware of the detailed domestic violence accusations that Molina—mother of the rapper’s 3-year-old daughter—made against Tekasi.
“We never would have done the spot,” Buzzetti said. “We never put our reputation in jeopardy.”
Buzzetti did not respond to subsequent inquiries made after a look at the contract prompted The Daily Beast to question his version of how the ad came to be, its original intent, and the terms under it which was made.
As recounted by Molina, Tekashi repeatedly beat her with particular vehemence subsequent to the date on the signed contract for the ad in which he says Romatic Depot has taught him to treat women with dignity and respect.
Molina is left wondering if it is all part of some effort to mask some of the contusions to Tekashi’s image.
Meanwhile, Romantic Depot will continue to air the ad.
“It started this week,” Buzzetti had said earlier. “It’s still up and it will be up until Valentine's Day for sure.”