A model and influencer who reportedly had a long-term romantic relationship with billionaire tech mogul and venture capitalist Peter Thiel was recently found dead in Miami in what police are investigating as a suicide.
Thirty-five-year-old Jeff Thomas was found deceased at the bottom of his Brickell apartment complex around 4:10 p.m. on March 8. A redacted Miami Police Department report obtained by New Times (attached at the bottom of this story) shows that several people witnessed the incident and that police were called immediately after Thomas plunged to the ground.
A department spokesperson says the case remains open.
Although Thomas' agent suggested to the Daily Mail that the model may have fallen while taking a selfie, Thomas' brother wrote in a Facebook post that he believes the death was a suicide.
"As you have followed through the years, Jeff traveled the world and lived life to the fullest," his brother, Skylar Ray Thomas, wrote on social media. "What you may not know is Jeff struggled with addiction and mental health challenges, which ultimately led to his tragic passing."
Citing Miami police sources, The Intercept reported on March 23 that police had been in contact with Thiel and planned to interview him as part of their suicide investigation.
Thomas reportedly told Ryan Grim of The Intercept that he was in a “kept” relationship, receiving expensive gifts like a $300,000 car and a $13 million home in Hollywood Hills from Thiel.
Thiel — the co-founder of PayPal and one of the most prominent funders of Republican candidates last election cycle — moved down to South Florida during the pandemic, purchasing multimillion-dollar waterfront properties in Miami Beach.
Thomas and Thiel reportedly met around 2015 or 2016 at Coachella and struck up a romantic relationship years later in the early days of the COVID-19 pandemic. When he was interviewed by The Intercept, Thomas said that the relationship was at times a source of stress, and that he felt as if he was being shown off.
"It’s not like I was his boyfriend, really, I was just kind of his friend that was there for him when he needed, you know, whatever he needed."
Thomas worked with London-based modeling agency AMCK Models and founded the art consulting agency One Popsicle. His Instagram account, which shows photos of him traveling everywhere from Mykonos to Brazil, has more than 126,000 followers.
His bio describes him as an "Aspiring Fire Fighter" and "Proud Dog Dad."
"While Jeff’s struggles were difficult, we want to remember him for the kind and caring person he was," his brother wrote. "He had a contagious sense of humor, a love for music, art and family, and a passion for helping others. He touched the lives of so many people, and his memory will live on in our hearts forever."