FTX’s in-house performance coach claimed Tuesday that the doomed crypto company’s headquarters in the Bahamas was a “pretty tame place” — despite rampant speculation about the executives’ sex lives and alleged substance use.
Online gossip alleging that the group lived in a “polycule” — or network of polyamorous relationships — increased after CoinDesk reported that the executives “are or were in a romantic relationship with each other.”
Dr. George K. Lerner, a psychiatrist, reportedly served as a therapist to disgraced FTX CEO Sam Bankman-Fried and as an advisor to many of the company’s employees. Bankman-Fried and his ex-lover Caroline Ellison were reportedly part of a 10-member group that ran FTX and its cryptocurrency trading sister company Alameda Research from a “luxury penthouse” in the Bahamas.
“It’s a pretty tame place,” Lerner told the New York Times. “The higher placed mainly played chess and board games. There was no partying. In any case, they were undersexed.”
Lerner told the outlet he moved to the Bahamas in June, where he worked 32 hours a week as a consultant at FTX and also had a “small private practice.” The performance coach claimed that FTX executives were workaholics with little social life.
“They worked way too much,” he added. “It would have been healthier if they had healthier dating relationships.”
The personal habits of Bankman-Fried and other executives are under scrutiny after reports that at least $1 billion in customer FTX funds are still missing. FTX, Alameda Research and more than 100 affiliates filed for bankruptcy last week.
Lerner also addressed viral rumors of alleged stimulant use by FTX executives. Ellison, the CEO of Alameda Research, admitted to “using amphetamines regularly” in an April 2021 tweet, while Bankman-Fried has openly discussed his experiments with Adderall and other stimulants.
Amphetamine can be prescribed under the brand name Adderall as a medication to treat attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD).
Lerner told the Times that while some FTX employees may have been on medication for ADHD, the company’s “rate of ADHD was in line with that of most tech companies.”
Lerner also acknowledged writing prescriptions to FTX employees whom he treated as patients in his private practice, though he did not clarify which ones he prescribed.
The Post has contacted Lerner, Bankman-Fried and FTX for further comment.
In a separate interview with Vice, Lerner said he served as a “coach” to “about 100 employees, including 20 to 40 on a semi-regular basis.”
In a September 15, 2019, tweet, Bankman-Fried described habits for optimal productivity in a reply to a fellow Twitter user. That user’s message has since been deleted, but Bankman-Fried’s message is still online.
“Stimulants when you wake up, sleeping pills when you need them when you sleep,” Bankman-Fried tweeted. “Pay attention to where your headspace is: I often take a nap in the office so my mind doesn’t get out of work mode in between shifts.”
Lerner’s association with Bankman-Fried first surfaced in a now-deleted profile published last September on Sequoia Capital’s website, where he was identified as the ex-billionaire’s therapist. The investment giant was recently forced to mark down the value of its investment in FTX to zero.
The psychiatrist told the New York Times that Bankman-Fried has some “nervous habits” such as “rapidly tapping his foot” – something he is apparently doing in an October interview with Chuck Todd on MSNBC’s “Meet The Press Reports.” During the interview, Bankman-Fried taps his foot so violently that he appears to be shaking.
Lerner said Bankman-Fried uses a “fidget spinner” toy and also plays video games to relieve stress.