Software magnate and former Libertarian presidential candidate John McAfee is facing fallout after Showtime aired a documentary about his life Saturday night.
The film, Gringo: the Dangerous Life of John McAfee, charts the billionaire’s course through Belize as he fights charges that he murdered an American expat. The director, Nanette Burstein, premiered the documentary at the Toronto Film Festival, after years of work interviewing not only McAfee, but officials, gangsters and others in Belize who claim McAfee is guilty of two murders and a rape. The “witnesses” have strange stories to tell about the man’s bizarre and often volatile behavior.
Heat Street had an exclusive interview with John McAfee when he declared his candidacy for President under the Libertarian ticket.
The documentary makes some severe allegations. McAfee, it claims, who moved to Belize in 2008 and fled the country in 2012, did as he pleased, paying off government officials, employing an army of young women to satisfy his bizarre feces-related sexual proclivities, and plotting to overthrow Belize’s official government from his heavily armored personal compound.
Burstein ends by theorizing exactly how McAfee used his hit men and bodyguards to commit the brutal murder McAfee made headlines for. And that’s where the story gets even more bizarre.
The documentary has, of course, caused immense fallout at home and abroad. McAfee has responded to the allegations in a four-page letter sent to Fortune magazine, claiming that he was falsely accused and charging that Showtime or Burstein paid off witnesses who spoke in the film. He’s also documented what he considers to be the film’s most egregious errors in a series of blog posts on his website, Showtime Gringo.
That allegation has caused a stir in Belize’s media, who made the payoff claims front page news, and carried detailed statements from some of the witnesses recanting their claims, saying that Burstein’s team manipulated them, and admitting to receiving cash for their stories.
Four of the witnesses have hired an attorney and are threatening to sue the network in an American court.
MGT Capital Investments, the company that McAfee is the CEO of, has also issued a statement supporting him, and quoting McAfee saying that the allegations in the film are the result of a longstanding feud between him and one of the documentary’s executive producers, Jeff Wise.