If billionaire Alki David is an honest man, the man who streaked in front of Barack Obama at the president’s rally today in Philadelphia will be paid $1 million for his stunt. The man who performed today’s stunt, which captured the attention of the Drudge Report and an Associated Press photographer, is 24-year-old Juan James Rodriguez, THE WEEKLY STANDARD has learned.
David is a billionaire shipping and bottling magnate who is known to carry out stunts, mainly by paying others to perform them. As the The Sun reported on August 17: "A WACKY billionaire has offered $1million (£638,700) to the first person who streaks in front of US President Barack Obama. Loaded Alki David has promised to pay out the cash — providing the streaker writes the name of his website 'Battlecam' across their chest."
“When I see the video and it’s confirmed...it won’t be check [that Rodriguez receives], it will be cash,” David, reached by phone tonight, told THE WEEKLY STANDARD.
The requirements of the streaking stunt, David told me, are that the streaker must have been within “eye-shot and ear shot of the president, they have to scream the name ‘battlecam.com’ six times, and they have to be nude.”
Two men involved in the stunt, Glen Zolar and Joey “Boots” Bassolino, assured THE WEEKLY STANDARD that Rodriguez met the requirements.
Zolar, who spoke with me on the phone earlier tonight, is a moderator on battlecam.com. Zolar was cruising the website when Rodriguez contacted him and asked whether he’d be able to facilitate this stunt. Seeking personal gain – primarily, monetary gain – Zolar agreed.
When asked how much he would get paid from Rodriguez’s payout, Zolar said, “I’d rather not disclose the figure, but it would definitely be more than $5,000 … and less than $25,000.”
Zolar says he has done freelance producing for the Howard Stern Show. Bassolino is a frequent guest on the show, which is well-known for conducting stunts just like the one carried out today in Philadelphia. Zolar asked Bassolino to film the stunt this evening. The two say it has been recorded but has not yet been broadcast on the website. No payment has yet been made, and though it has not yet been given David’s approval, it appears Rodriguez met all of David's requirements.
“I am on the record as saying that it needed to be done in a place where it’s legal to be nude,” David said. But “it’s a suggestion, not a rule.”
In that case, the requirements appear to have been met. Here's a photo of Rodriguez performing his stunt:
(Photo Credit: Joey "Boots" Bassolino)
The battlecam.com website carries live-streaming videos from people around the world. Other viewers vote upon the videos, and successful video-streamers are given priority, while unpopular video-streamers are banned.
Rodriguez, I learned from his associates, is not available for comment. He is currently still being held by authorities in Philadelphia.
“Won’t this go down in the history books?” Zolar asked me. “As what?” I wondered. “As the first person to streak Obama.” Maybe it will.
Boots and Zolar say the stunt wasn't done to protest the president. In fact, both say they voted for Obama in the 2008 election.
Boots emails THE WEEKLY STANDARD this picture of himself and Rodriguez from earlier in the day.