Dan Bilzerian, the pro-Trump Instagram star who is essentially a humanoid version of a Monster Energy drink can, is set to host an event at LIV, Miami's most famous nightclub, this Saturday night. Generally speaking, Bilzerian is the exact type of person whom LIV would want as a host: He's famous, he's rich, he's a gigantic asshole, and he loves to shoot guns and hang out with models.
Of course, the Tampa-born Bilzerian's return to LIV is problematic. He was supposed to be banned from the place. In 2014, he was filmed allegedly kicking a woman in the head at the nightclub inside the Fontainebleau. According to news reports at the time, Bilzerian tried to bring a woman onstage with him during a Miami Art Week party. Some sort of scuffle ensued, and he responded by kicking model Vanessa Castano in the face and leaving her with a swollen, bloody eye.
After TMZ published footage of the incident that year, LIV banned him from the club. He ultimately did not face charges. He claimed additional surveillance footage of the incident exonerated him and showed he "didn't kick anyone." He later told TV host Larry King that he was trying to break up a fight between two women.
In that interview with King, he didn't exactly deny hitting Castano.
"But you didn't hit anybody?" King asked.
"Look, my girl was getting attacked, unprovoked, by another girl," Bilzerian responded.
"So you defended her?" King responded.
"So I got the girl off of her," Bilzerian said with a chuckle.
Castano, however, sued him over the incident and explicitly alleged Bilzerian's foot indeed connected with her face.
This isn't the only time Bilzerian has been filmed getting rough with women. In 2014, he was caught on camera grabbing then-18-year-old adult film star Janice Griffith, cupping her crotch, and chucking her off a roof in the direction of a pool below them. Griffith landed on concrete and broke her foot, and she had to miss days of work while the break healed. She later sued Bilzerian, who claimed that he had been contracted to throw Griffith from the roof by Hustler and that he had simply missed by accident.
We Believe Local Journalism is Critical to the Life of a City
Engaging with our readers is essential to Miami New Times's mission. Make a financial contribution or sign up for a newsletter, and help us keep telling Miami's stories with no paywalls.
Support Our Journalism
Also, Bilzerian was arrested in 2014 at Los Angeles International Airport on bomb-making charges. He copped a plea to a lesser charge of "negligently failing to extinguish a fire in the open" and paid a $17,000 fine.
Since then, Bilzerian — the son of the wealthy corporate-takeover specialist Paul Bilzerian — has briefly flirted with running for president, endorsed Donald Trump's 2016 campaign, and, despite being super into guns, infamously ran away from the 2017 mass shooting in Las Vegas. He claimed he was trying to go find a gun, but he was relentlessly mocked online for fleeing.
Now he's back at LIV hosting an event with the Australian model and celebrity Brooke Evers. Tickets start at $40 and run upward of $8,000 for the most exclusive package. Spokespeople for LIV didn't respond to a message from New Times yesterday asking why they've allowed Bilzerian to return.