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Nipsey Hussle’s tie to Las Vegas Hard Rock/Virgin ‘a big overstatement’

Updated April 17, 2019 - 12:45 pm

A friend and business partner of the late rap artist Nipsey Hussle claims the rap star was a part-owner of the Hard Rock Hotel/Virgin Hotel Las Vegas.

Not so fast, says the company.

“That is a very big overstatement,” Hard Rock Hotel property partner and CEO Richard “Boz” Bosworth said Wednesday in a phone conversation from Toronto, where he is on a business trip. “Nipsey Hussle was a minority investor in a partnership, which was managed by David Gross.”

Hustle, the hugely popular rap star, was fatally shot outside his Marathon Clothing store in South Los Angeles on March 31. He was 33.

Gross is Hussle’s friend and business associate who posted on Instagram that he and Hussle were partners in Virgin Hotels Las Vegas as the property is re-branded in 2020. Cross posted a series of photos of him with Hussle, walking to a plane, on the plane and in what seems a business meeting with two unidentified individuals.

Gross posted the photos (which are not dated) on Monday. Gross says in his caption that Virgin Hotels had contacted him about being in the “hospitality space” at the new hotel, and says, “We were.” He added that the photos were of a meeting that resulted in he and Hussle becoming “partial owners, of not a hotel … But a resort and casino in the desert.”

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“Spoke some things into the universe and they appeared…” . You always emphasized how important articulating a vision was to actually executing . We always planned to tell the story behind these pictures but didn’t get the chance to because we were busy executing on the next idea, and each successive opportunity got bigger and bigger… . This moment deserves sharing because this was a full circle moment. The significance and symbolism of this was profound for both of us because this was us realizing the American Dream at a high level; we took different paths, but both started with no money, connections or a legacy roadmap that got us to this moment. . This was about 4 months after our syndicate (@djkhaled, @luoldeng9, @rdpeebles) put in a bid for the Viceroy Santa Monica. We were unsuccessful in that but we still shared our attempt with the world. Some people were puzzled why we would share a “failure” but we knew… . A few weeks later, senior execs from Virgin Hotels reached out to Atlantic (@dallaslifestyle) to meet with us to see if we were serious about being in the hospitality space. We were . This is the meeting a couple months later, that would result in us becoming partial owners, of not a hotel… But a resort and casino in the desert… . The Virgin Las Vegas coming 2020 #legend #facts #TheMarathonContinues

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Bosworth denies that there were any discussions with Gross and Hussle related to the Las Vegas property’s hospitality space. He also says he doesn’t recognize the men in the photos Gross posted.

The resort exec further clarifies that a mix of celebrity and entertainment investors have been partners in a “passive minority investor” collective called the Confluent Group, which is managed by Gross. Hussle, NBA players Carmelo Anthony and Luol Deng, and pro soccer player Jozy Altidore are among the partners in Confluent.

The group invested in an investment partnership managed by Juniper Capital Partners LLC, which is a member of the general partnership in Virgin Hotel Las Vegas. Bosworth also is in the general partnership group.

“Hussle was an investor in David Gross’s firm, which made an investment in another fund, which made an investment in J.C. Hospitality,” Bosworth said. “They are three steps removed from being a partner in the property.”

John Katsilometes’ column runs daily in the A section. His PodKats podcast can be found atreviewjournal.com/podcasts.Contact him at jkatsilometes@reviewjournal.com. Follow @johnnykats on Twitter, @JohnnyKats1on Instagram.

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