All eyes – and ears – are on Gwyneth Paltrow, who is the subject of a coming Vanity Fair article claiming to be an “epic takedown” of the Oscar-winning actress and expose an affair. The magazine asserts that, Paltrow, 41, cheated on her husband of a decade, Coldplay singer Chris Martin, about five years ago.
But it takes two to tango, so who is the other person involved?
Vanity Fair claims the tryst was with billionaire Jeff Soffer in 2008. And while Paltrow is the celebrity here, many are wondering exactly who Soffer is and how he became linked to the actress and owner of weekly newsletter Goop.
Jeffrey Soffer, a 43-year-old billionaire based in Miami, is the owner of Turnberry Associates, one of the country's leading property firms. The mogul, with a fortune estimated at $1 billion, owns the famous Fontainebleau Hotel in Miami Beach, as well as condominiums in Las Vegas, the Bahamas and Washington, Reuters reported. He is the son of Donald Soffer, who founded Turnberry and made his real estate fortune developing Aventura, a wealthy Miami suburb. Jeffrey Soffer currently serves as CEO and chairman of Turnberry, which has developed more than $7 billion worth of property worldwide.
But it’s not all business for Soffer, who has been called “Miami royalty.” He wed 49-year-old Australian supermodel Elle Macpherson in August this year in an intimate ceremony in Fiji. At the time, a source told The Daily Mail the couple “wanted to keep the wedding a secret. They are very happy and head over heels in love.”
Soffer and Macpherson dated for years on and off, beginning in 2010, before they reportedly split in March 2012. At the time, a report emerged that he left the supermodel for a bikini model more than 20 years Macpherson’s junior. However, Soffer had a change of heart and proposed to Macpherson this March. They were engaged five months before tying the knot two months ago.
Before the rumors of the affair with Paltrow and even his own wedding, Soffer made headlines as one of the survivors of a helicopter crash in the Bahamas in 2012. The mogul was flung from the helicopter as its rotor blades hit the ground during landing, along with two of the five passengers aboard. The Miami Herald reported Soffer was flown back to South Florida and taken to the University of Miami Hospital with minor injuries. Two others died in the crash.
The Vanity Fair Expose
Now, Soffer is making headlines again in the leadup to the Vanity Fair cover story about Gwyneth Paltrow.
In September, The New York Times broke news that Paltrow sent an email to her friends when she heard Vanity Fair was working on an expose about her. Writing to big names like Vanity Fair’s November cover subject Jay-Z, Paltrow warned friends of the magazine run by Editor-in-Chief Graydon Carter.
“Vanity Fair is threatening to put me on the cover of their magazine,” she wrote. “If you are asked for quotes or comments, please decline. Also, I recommend you all never do this magazine again.”
Following news of her email, Carter spoke to The Times of London to confirm the story about an affair with Soffer five years ago will run regardless of Paltrow’s wishes.
"We started a story on her," Carter told The Times of London. "We have a very good writer on it and it'll run. … She sort of forced my hand."
"Some famous people believe that they live in a cone of celebrity that protects them,” he continued. “But it doesn't really exist anymore in LA unless they stay in. I mean, you can be a well-known movie star and go decades without getting an embarrassing picture in a magazine just by leading a quiet, normal life."
The highly anticipated cover story is expected to reveal an affair between Paltrow and Soffer, long before he was married to Macpherson. Paltrow has been married to Martin, with whom she has two children, since 2003.
According to Page Six, the story will dig into her “friendship” with Soffer, particularly one incident in 2008. The Vanity Fair writer, Vanessa Grigoriadis, has reportedly been asking “Miami society” about an affair between the actress and the Fontainebleau owner.
“Vanity Fair is asking if Gwyneth had an affair with Jeff back in 2008 when he reopened the Fontainebleau,” a researcher on the story told the New York Post's Page Six. The source said Paltrow attended a Victoria’s Secret party at Soffer's hotel where she wore a “revealing little white dress.”
“He flew her in for the party, and she stayed at his house,” the source said, adding she “remained closed off in a private section with Soffer” and received a private tour. The next day, she joined Soffer on his yacht with actress Kate Hudson.
A rep told Page Six said there was no “romantic relationship” between Soffer and Paltrow.
“Jeff is a longtime friend of Gwyneth’s and there was no romantic relationship with him at all. He flew many of his friends to Miami that weekend – not just Gwyneth.”
The story is also set to divulge details about Paltrow’s “epic falling out with ex-best friend Madonna, her Goop transformation and her casting-couch experiences” when she began acting.
“When I was starting out, someone suggested that we finish a meeting in the bedroom,” she once told Elle magazine. “I left. I was pretty shocked.”