LOS ANGELES (CBSLA.com) — A crowdfunding effort to help get a former Beverly Hills Hotel pool manager back on his feet has been ended abruptly over what organizers called “a lot of drama”.
The GoFundMe page for Svend Petersen was launched back in April with the modest goal of raising $5,900 for a down payment and rent for an apartment for Petersen, who lounged poolside with the likes of Marilyn Monroe, Cary Grant, and Faye Dunaway at the hotel for nearly four decades.
By the middle of May, nearly $80,000 had been raised and Petersen was able to move into an apartment, according to an update posted on the GoFundMe page by organizers Mercedes Kennedy, Thomas Marinello and Art Galstyan.
High-profile donors including Sandra Bullock and Clive Davis contributed to the campaign, according to The Hollywood Reporter.
But now the campaign has officially ended, according to a statement posted on the GoFundMe page: “In the past week we have been dealing with, unfortunately, a lot of drama. The idea was and still is to be transparent with, you, the donor. We know life sometimes is not pretty but we are campaign managers trying to do what we think is the right thing.”
According to Marinello, Petersen’s ongoing tax issues and other “drama” have complicated matters and the organizers plan on now “going back to making natural soap, saving bees, and photographing nature.”
A photo posted on the GoFundMe page showed Petersen holding a check for $42,330.
Updates to a Twitter account with Petersen’s name appeared to show the 86-year-old receiving new kitchenware and reclining on a sofa bed in his new apartment.