Hollywood producer and philanthropist Steve Bing, who shared a close bond with Democrats, died by suicide, aged 55. Reports said the political donor and philanthropist jumped from the 27th floor of the Century City neighborhood building where he stayed.
Bing, who inherited $600 million from his real estate tycoon grandfather, became popular after his relationship with Elizabeth Hurley became public in 2000-01. The couple share a son, Damian.
According to TMZ, sources revealed that Bing had been 'depressed' about being isolated during coronavirus. However, it is unclear if that had anything to do with his suicide.
Bing's Political Affinity and Philanthropic Works
Bing was known to share a close bond with former US President Bill Clinton and the Democratic National Committee (DNC). Besides contributing at least $10 million to Bill Clinton's foundation he also helped Clinton by paying for the plane used by the former US President to rescue journalists Laura Ling and Euna Lee from North Korea in 2009.
LA Mag reported that Clinton and Bing were part of a 'hard-partying' group that included convicted sex-offender late Jeffrey Epstein. Bing was also known for donating $1 million to the DNC to help fund a convention held in Los Angeles in 2000. He also spent an estimated $50 million to campaign for an oil production tax in 2006.
In 1998 Bing donated $3.5 million to support and defend the initiative that imposed a 50-cent-per-pack tax on cigarettes to fund child-care and anti-tobacco programs for preschoolers, and was generous to Democratic candidates, reported the outlet.
Bing joined Giving Pledge, a program established by Bill Gates and Warren Buffett to commit multi-millionaires and billionaires to donate most of their wealth to charity during their lifetimes, in April 2012.
Bing's Love Life and Hollywood Career
Bing, who generally kept a low profile, shot into limelight after his relationship with actress Elizabeth Hurley became public in 2000-01. The couple who kept their relationship non-exclusive, briefly broke up in March 2001, only to reunite again in August the same year.
However, following their split, Hurley informed Bing about being a father to her son Damian. In a statement issued soon after Bing said that they had not been in an exclusive relationship and that it was 'her choice to be a single mother, reported Daily Mail.
Bing, who initially refused to have fathered Damian, was proved wrong following a DNA test. In 2001, Bing was faced with a paternity suit from a second woman, professional tennis player Lisa Bonder, with whom he shares a daughter, Kira Bonder. Bing also had romantic escapades with Sharon Stone, Uma Thurman and Naomi Campbell.
Bing had written the 2003 film Kangaroo Jack. Besides producing the Rolling Stones film directed by Martin Scorcese, Shine A Light, Bing also pumped $100 million in Tom Hank's computer animated film, Polar Express.
In 2016, Bing invested in Warren Beatty' s Rules Don't Apply alongside Ron Burkle, Terry Semel, Arnon Milchan's New Regency, and James Packer's and Brett Ratner's RatPac Entertainment.
Twitter Raises Conspiracy Theories behind 'Suicide'
As soon as the news of Bing's death broke, conspiracy theorists raised questions over his death, including his close ties with Clinton and Epstein.
"Hard to believe a 55 year old billionaire #SteveBing suddenly decided to jump off a tall building because he "was depressed about social isolation during the Covid lockdown" which is over now anyway," wrote a user.
"Steve Bing won't be the last Epstein related death," tweeted a user.
"Three of four of the men in the lede are dead: "Epstein, supermarket magnate Ron Burkle, film financier Steve Bing, and former president Bill Clinton...flying around on Epstein's jet, dubbed the Lolita Express, or Burkle's jet, dubbed Air Fuck One." Stay away from windows, Bill," tweeted another.