Sean Parker came under heavy criticism Tuesday when government documents revealed that his lavish wedding had resulted in a $2.5 million fine for ignoring regulations. The California Coastal Commission report, first reported by Alexis Madrigal at The Atlantic, detailed how Parker had failed to obtain permits before installing "fake ruins" and making extensive changes to the park which is in an environmentally protected area of redwood forestry.
Today, Parker has written an extensive response to Madrigal, saying that "everything we did was an homage to nature, to the natural redwood environment which I call 'God's cathedral.'" The land which he chose for the wedding, he says, was not "undisturbed" in any way, and that much of it was already paved with asphalt. Parker says that the $2.5 million payout was not "strictly speaking" a fine, and that he "conceded to pay $1 million into the CCC's conservation fund, and then work together to deploy a minimum of an additional $1.5 million in charitable contributions to help the Monterey/Big Sur area." He also says that there was no need or way to apply for permits as the wedding was simply renting land from the hotel which operates it, and that everything built for the wedding was designed to be easily dismantled after the event. Parker denies that the wedding cost its reported $9 million, though he admits that roughly $4.5 million was spent preparing the event space. "Contrary to media reports," Parker writes, "no redwood trees were harmed by the wedding or construction."
Finally, Parker says that "none of the usual tasteless crap that rich people do at their weddings was present here -- no ice sculptures, no caviar, no pop stars hired to sing their hits songs," adding that he found the critical press coverage of his nuptials "deeply offensive."
Update: Valleywag has acquired a previously unseen photo of Parker's wedding here.