When Kuntz was arrested that first time on Geffen’s Malibu estate, he says he went there out of necessity.
(WEST HOLLYWOOD, CA) — After serving 13 months in prison for stalking gay billionaire playboy David Geffen, Jamie Kuntz is finally ready to tell his side of a troubling affair that made tabloid headlines from London to Los Angeles.
The simple facts of the case are not in dispute.
In February 2015 Jamie Kuntz pled “no contest” to trespassing onto David Geffen’s property and was slapped with a 10 year restraining order. Nine months later, in November 2015, Kuntz violated that order and was later sentenced to 13 months in prison. While those facts are beyond contestation, what remains in dispute are the circumstances surrounding those facts, circumstances which may provide some much-needed context.
While in court for the trespassing charge, Kuntz claimed through his attorney that he and Geffen had a previous relationship and the trespassing charge was a simple misunderstanding.
According to court transcripts, the prosecution contradicted those claims however, citing clear statements made to investigators that Geffen had never met Kuntz.
Both in court and still to this day, Kuntz can offer no proof that he and Geffen had ever met or even ever communicated. With a lack of evidence to support his claims and facing up to four years in jail, Kuntz pled no contest to the trespassing charge in exchange for a lighter sentence. He was given probation, ordered to see a therapist and to refrain from contacting or coming within 200 feet of Geffen for 10 years. It would be the first of three arrests for the former college athlete.
Making The Wrong Kind Of News
Kuntz first appeared in the national spotlight five years ago when he was kicked off his college football team for being gay. He was spotted by teammates kissing a much older man at a game and two days later the all-state linebacker was off the team. He told his story to ESPN and other national outlets and overnight the 18 year old became a cause celebre for LGBT athletes everywhere. But the bright lights of fame can leave a burn on young skin, even if their exposure lasts just 15 minutes.
Since then, life for the small town North Dakota native hasn’t exactly gone according to plan. Far from making his way back to football, Kuntz began a downward spiral of drugs and prostitution that culminated in a felony stalking conviction of one of the world’s most famous gay billionaires.
Now on probation and undergoing court-ordered counseling, the 23-year old is trying to steady himself. Part of that, he says, includes taking responsibility for his actions.
“My mistakes are unfortunately in the headlines,” Kuntz said in a candid in-person interview, and there were few headlines in 2015 bigger than a gay billionaire being stalked by what one news outlet called his “21-year old ex boy toy.”
When Kuntz was arrested that first time on Geffen’s Malibu estate, he says he went there out of necessity.
“I needed a place to stay,” he said. Kuntz had been living on the streets and thought it would be ok to stay at Geffen’s place for just one night. “I sent (Geffen) an email and I asked if it would be ok if I just crashed there.” Kuntz says Geffen never responded, but he chose to go anyway.
“I went to his property late at night and the beach gate was closed,” Kuntz recalled. “So I hopped the gate and I walked to the back of his property.” When the security guard came looking, “I just raised my hand because he didn’t really see me.” The guard put Kuntz in handcuffs and when police arrived he was arrested and taken to jail.
Kuntz said he doesn’t think Geffen was at the property at the time.
The Start Of The Affair
While Geffen nor his representatives responded to several requests for comments for this article, Court records show Geffen claimed he didn’t know Kuntz and that the two had never met. But the former college athlete tells a different story.
Kuntz said he and Geffen weren’t total strangers. They had met, exchanged contact information on a website and, he claims, had sex twice in New York City on two separate occasions.
The first time, according to Kuntz, he was in the city as a result of an arrangement he had made with an older man he had met on an online dating site. The man paid for Kuntz’ airfare with the understanding that Kuntz would fly into the Big Apple and spend a week with him in his Manhattan apartment as a kind of audition for what might have turned into a longer-term arrangement.
After their first night together, however, Kuntz lost interest. “I just wasn’t feeling it,” he said.
The next day Kuntz went onto that same online site and messaged other men in New York. He told them he was in the city and left his number. Shortly after, Kuntz said, as he was heading to the gym, he got a call.
“He said, ‘Hey, this is David. Come over.’” Kuntz says he had no idea that “David” was the 71 year old Geffen. Kuntz says the two spent the night together and the next day, when Kuntz went back to his original benefactor, he found he was no longer welcome after spending the night somewhere else.
Kuntz wasn’t ticketed to fly out for another six more days and with no money to get an earlier flight or a place to stay, he says he messaged the man he knew as David and asked for help.
Kuntz claims Geffen put him up in a hotel for a few days and while the two would spend time together, he said they only had sex that first night.
It wasn’t until their third night together that Kuntz says he learned the billionaire’s full identity. He would fly home with a funny story to tell, but no expectations of ever seeing or hearing from Geffen again.
Cocaine and Prostitution In South Beach
After his football story went nationwide in 2012, for some a particular detail stood out. It was widely reported that the man he was kissing at that fateful football game was more than 40 years his senior.
“I like older men,” he said matter-of-factly. “Over 50. Silver hair… It’s what I like. I have no qualms about it.”
This affection led to some interesting offers after his story first broke. “I was offered money for sex by mostly older men from all over the country,” Kuntz said.
He rejected those offers, and would at one point say he was offended by them.
In fact he tried to make money legally, by delivering pizzas for his hometown Pizza Hut. But the short burst of fame and attention he had enjoyed months earlier had put stars in Kuntz’ eyes and he wanted a life very different than what he had, and what he thought possible for a young gay man in Western North Dakota.
“There was nothing happening for me in Dickinson,” Kuntz said.
The one thing his earlier brush with fame had taught him was that there are men willing to pay for the company of an attractive young athlete. Not wanting to stay in North Dakota for the rest of his life, he started saying yes to those offers he once found offensive.
After ping-ponging between California, Dickinson, Omaha, and that brief trip to New York, Kuntz would eventually find himself living in Miami’s South Beach.
“I was staying in a tiny hotel on the beach, escorting and doing drugs and just living the fast life,” Kuntz said. Then, somewhat out of the blue, Kuntz claims he got an invitation from Geffen to return to New York.
“(Geffen) said he would give me money for my flight when I got there and would take care of my hotel, so I went,” he said.
Kuntz says when he and Geffen met the second time, Geffen gave him $3,000.00 to reimburse him for a flight that didn’t cost nearly that much.
Somehow Kuntz managed to interpret the money and invitation to New York differently than what he now says was intended.
“I didn’t realize that I was just there for sex,” Kuntz said, “and so that toyed with my emotions.” But, he admits the fault was his own, and wants to make it clear Geffen never led him on. “He told me no. He told me he wasn’t interested.”
But those statements conflicted with the fantasy Kuntz had created in his mind and so he ignored them.
Kuntz says Geffen was clear about what he wanted (and didn’t want), but the gay young man whose father had committed suicide when he was just six years old, whose dreams of playing football had been completely shattered, who had spent the last two years trying to escape being trapped in a small life in a small town, claims he had fallen for a billionaire, or perhaps more accurately, the fantasy of being with one.
Violating The Order
While on probation, Kuntz would continue his escort work, sometimes trading sex for a place to stay.
But something stuck in Kuntz’s mind about the whole ordeal. He felt it had been badly handled. So even though it was a violation of his probation, Kuntz says he continued reaching out to Geffen via text and email to apologize and try to explain.
Kuntz says Geffen never replied.
When his escort work brought him back again to New York, Kuntz made a fateful decision. He went to Geffen’s Manhattan apartment. He had to see him. He had to explain, even though he was still on probation and still under the restraining order.
“I had this gut feeling,” Kuntz said. “I was completely sober. I wasn’t on anything. I just had this instinct to take my lyric book and guitar and show him what I had been working on. Something told me he’d want to see me.”
That “something” forgot to tell the security guards in Geffen’s building and while the former football player was able to rush past them and get into an elevator, it had already been locked down and there in the lift car, Kuntz was again arrested.
After the charges were dropped in New York, Kuntz knew there would be consequences for violating the restraining order in Los Angeles, and that he had to face them.
He turned himself in at the L.A. County Courthouse. For the third time in a little over one year, Kuntz was arrested.
This time there weren’t as many salacious tabloid headlines, just a court date and a devastating sentence of 13 months in prison.
Putting The Pieces Back Together
Kuntz finished his sentence late last year and is now trying to build a life for himself in Los Angeles. He is learning the guitar and writing lyrics and trying to put his past mistakes behind him.
It was that reason he chose now to tell his story.
“I need to own my mistakes,” Kuntz said. “I broke the law. We live in a country where when people get caught breaking the law there are consequences.”
While he wishes the whole ordeal would have turned out differently, he doesn’t blame Geffen. “He made it clear he just wasn’t looking for me.”
Kuntz also wanted to make something else clear. It had been incorrectly reported in some outlets that the man Kuntz was seen kissing at that football game in 2012 was Geffen.
“David Geffen was not with me in 2012,” Kuntz said.
But when they did meet, it would set in motion a chain of events that proved too much for a star-struck young man to process maturely.
Now, with a felony on his record and job prospects limited, Kuntz is trying to figure out what’s next. While he may not know what the future holds, he knows football and David Geffen won’t be a part of it.