Bob Lee, the founder of Cash App, was heavily into partying with San Francisco elites where cocaine and swingers were a common feature, a report said.
It was Lee's indulgence in the underground party scene, known as "The Lifestyle" among Bay Area wealthy, that led to his murder, the Wall Street Journal reported on Sunday.
Initially, Lee's death was believed to be a random case of violence in a crime-ridden city. But it was through "The Lifestyle" that Lee met the sister of his accused killer, the report said.
Also participating in the party circle was Khazar Momeni, the wife of a prominent plastic surgeon and sister of Nima Momeni.
The Journal cited people familiar with "The Lifestyle" as saying that Lee and Khazar, 37, were sleeping together.
The 43-year-old Lee, the father of two, was allegedly confronted by Nima about the hard partying and his sister’s involvement in an argument erupting in the early hours of April 4 when Lee was stabbed multiple times, prosecutors said.
After he was stabbed, Lee reportedly stumbled around begging for help before collapsing near the Bay Bridge, which is 16 minutes from Khazar’s apartment.
Devon Meyers, a friend of Lee, said the parties appeared to help the Cash App founder unwind and connect with Bay Area elites, noting “The Lifestyle” parties had strict rules to kick out anyone who was getting too “drunk and handsy.”
The Journal noted that Lee had allegedly slept with multiple women at the parties, including Khazar.
"If Lee was the life of the party, his friend Nima, 38, was the wet blanket, often brooding in the corner," sources told the Journal.
Both Lee and Nima were attending a house party on April 3 when Nima confronted Lee, asking if he and Khazar were “doing drugs or anything inappropriate,” prosecutors alleged.
The San Francisco Office of the Chief Medical Examiner's report revealed Lee had cocaine and ketamine in his system when he died.
Khazar texted Lee around the time of his slaying to check on him, according to court documents.
“Just wanted to make sure you’re doing ok Cause I know Nima came wayyyyyy down hard on you,” she wrote.
“And thank you for being such a class manhandling it with class. Love you Selfish pricks.”
Lee’s friends including Dana Wagner, the former general counsel of payments company Square, now known as Block, said Lee was loyal to his friends, and “saw the best in everyone.”
“He was also hanging out with people who weren’t great people, and that was part of what happened in the end,” Wagner said. “There are a lot of swingers, cheaters and liars in that crowd,” he said.
Lee remained close to his wife, Krista Lee, even though they were separated, and his two teenage children. The family had planned a trip together to Japan in August.
“He was kind and generous — he saw the good in everybody,” Ms. Lee told the Wall Street Journal. She seemed unaware of the party scene and the term “The Lifestyle.” Letters from his friends, submitted at a memorial service, will be set ablaze at the annual Burning Man music festival in the Nevada desert this summer — one of Lee’s favorite events, his family said.
Lee worked at Google and helped write the code for the Android operating system. He was an investor in SpaceX, the rocket company run by Elon Musk, and Figma, the collaboration-software business acquired by Adobe for $20 billion last year.
Nima was arrested on April 13 and charged with murder. If convicted, he faces 26 years to life in prison. His attorney Paula Canny said he intends to plead not guilty.
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