In the WeCrashed Apple TV Plus series, Adam and Rebekah meet at a party he's throwing on the rooftop of his apartment building. The WeCrashed true story reveals that in real life, Rebekah's college friend Andrew Finkelstein set them up on a blind date when they were both living in New York City. When speaking to crowds, Adam always liked telling the story of how he and his wife Rebekah met. During his commencement speech at Baruch College, he told the audience about their first date. "She looked me straight in the eye and she said, 'You, my friend, are full of sh**.' "
Yes. The true story behind WeWork confirms that like so many other tech CEOs who came before him, including Bill Gates, Steve Jobs, Mark Zuckerberg, Jack Dorsey, and blood-testing startup fraudster Elizabeth Holmes, Adam Neumann was a college dropout. With only four credits left in the mid-2000s, he dropped out of Zicklin School of Business at Baruch College in New York City to focus full time on Krawlers, a baby clothing business he started. He did eventually complete the independent study he needed to graduate and finally received his bachelor's degree in 2017, 15 years after he enrolled.
The commercial real estate company re-imagined the workspace by creating functional, upscale office spaces shared by multiple companies. They pitched it as not an office space, but rather a community. WeWork caters mainly to technology startups. The company also creates virtual shared spaces.
In researching how true is WeCrashed, we learned that Adam Neumann (portrayed by Jared Leto) and business partner Miguel McKelvey (played by Kyle Marvin) founded a shared office space company called Green Desk in 2008. That idea paved the way for WeWork. The sale of their company Green Desk provided part of the funds they needed to launch their first WeWork location in 2010 in New York City's SoHo neighborhood. They also received $15 million in funding from real estate developer Joel Schreiber. The real building at 154 Grand Street (pictured below) was in even worse condition than the building in the series. It's true that part of their space in the building had been previously used as an S&M dungeon.
Yes. The WeWork true story confirms that she started out as a sort of silent adviser and financier at the company, referring to herself as a "strategic thought partner." She would eventually become the chief brand and impact officer of WeWork's parent company We.
According to the Vanity Fair article "How Billionaire Rebekah Neumann put the Woo-Woo in WeWork," she reportedly hired and fired people based on their "energy." An individual who had interviewed with Rebekah for a contract job said that he got the impression "she was guiding the company through her astrological intuition." They discussed his zodiac sign more than anything else, including what kind of energy that would bring. Needless to say, based on his "energy," she determined he wouldn't be a good fit. Another employee was hired due to his "good energy."
The Hulu documentary WeWork: or The Making and Breaking of a $47 Billion Unicorn drives home Rebekah's domineering level of executive control at the company, which is effectively showcased by Anne Hathaway in the WeCrashed Apple TV Plus series. By 2019, when WeWork had attained its peak valuation, Rebekah Neumann started to refer to herself as a "cofounder."
Yes. The WeCrashed true story confirms that the elementary school for the children of New York's elites was indeed Rebekah's passion project. She positioned herself as CEO of WeGrow in 2017. Tuition ranged anywhere from $22,000 to $42,000. In 2018, WeGrow had a total of around 46 students, including Adam and Rebekah Neumann's four children. Following the failed IPO and the Neumanns' exit from WeWork, the school closed at the end of the 2020 school year due to major cost-cutting at the parent We Company. Parents who had sent their children to WeGrow said that they were impressed with the teachers and pleased with the education their children had received.
However, a longtime employee told Vanity Fair that he had begun to wonder if these other ventures, including WeGrow, the communal living venture WeLive, and the holistic wellness center Rise by We, were started more to "line the Neumanns' pockets" than to "change the world."
While researching the WeCrashed fact vs. fiction, we learned that at its peak valuation in 2019, WeWork had roughly 12,500 employees across 29 countries.
Yes. A vegetarian since age 12, Adam Neumann's wife Rebekah forbid the consumption of meat in the WeWork office. However, an employee who knew her well said that she would eat red meat once a week because a doctor had told her that her body required it. She is said to have closed her eyes while consuming it.
Yes. Born Rebekah Paltrow, she is Gwyneth Paltrow's cousin. Rebekah Neumann's parents are Evelyn and Bob Paltrow. Neumann also has other famous ties. While in college at Cornell, she dated Brian Hallisay, an actor who is now married to Jennifer Love Hewitt. Actress Anne Hathaway, who portrays Neumann in the Apple TV Plus series, says that after she Googled Neumann a bit, she realized they had friends in common (Newsweek). According to Vanity Fair, Rebekah Neumann is also friends with Ivanka Trump, and her friendship with Ashton Kutcher is touched on in the Wondery podcast.
Yes. Prior to marrying Adam Neumann, in order to separate herself from her cousin Gwyneth Paltrow, she had started using the stage name Rebekah Keith instead of her birth name, Rebekah Paltrow. She wrote and financed the expensive $100,000 15-minute short film Awake (2010), in which she made herself the lead alongside costars Rosario Dawson and Sean Lennon. Her friend Ashton Kutcher also gave her a small role in an episode of his TV show Punked. Ultimately, her acting career was not a success. She gave up pursuing acting when WeWork achieved the coveted unicorn status (a $1 billion valuation). At that point, the company had become too important to not be a full-time endeavor for Rebekah.
No. While WeWork boasted over half a million paying customers by 2019, the company's rapid expansion caused them to burn through billions of dollars in investors' money. In 2018, WeWork had revenue of $1.8 billion and a loss of $1.9 billion (Forbes). In the first six months of 2019, WeWork lost $690 million (Bloomberg).
No. O-T Fagbenle's character, Benchmark Capital partner Cameron Lautner, is not based on any single real-life individual. Instead, he is at best an amalgamation of the various Benchmark partners who took issue with some of Adam Neumann's decisions as CEO of WeWork.
Like in the WeCrashed Apple TV Plus series, the true story confirms that Neumann's behavior became unpredictable and troubling. Vanity Fair reported that he skipped important meetings, restructured divisions erratically, gave barefooted spiritual presentations, and threw outdoor company parties that were akin to raves. A former employee told the magazine that the company was more like a "cult." Reports of Neumann's drinking and drug use were also worrisome, though he clarified that it was only marijuana.
Neumann boasted unrealistic profit projections in interviews and guided the company on a reckless expansion that was costing billions. He also had made several ethically questionable moves that concerned investors, including charging the company millions to lease properties he owned and selling off a total of $870 million in shares before the failed IPO (Daily Beast). Then there was the fact that a valuation ahead of the company's IPO put it at $10 billion, far less than the previous $47 billion valuation. At the end of 2019, Adam was asked to step down as CEO. He decided to resign and did so near the end of September 2019.
In answering the question, "How true is WeCrashed?" we discovered that following the failed IPO and Adam Neumann stepping down as CEO, WeWork fired 2,400 employees, nearly 20% of its global workforce. While Adam Neumann walked away with more than a billion dollars, many of the employees were left with nothing. -Wondery Podcast
The WeCrashed true story reveals that two years after CEO Adam Neumann stepped down, the company finally went public on October 21, 2021 with a valuation of $9 billion, a far cry from its earlier $47 billion valuation. Neumann says the COVID-19 pandemic is largely to blame for the lengthy delay. -The New York Times
Yes. As of 2022, they are still married and have five children. After being forced out of their We Company, they secluded themselves in Tel Aviv for several months during the COVID-19 pandemic. They have since returned to The Hamptons.
Adam Neumann's wife Rebekah is living with her husband and children in a house in The Hamptons village of Amagansett adjacent to an estate owned by her cousin Gwyneth Paltrow and Gwyneth's mother, actress Blythe Danner. Inspired by her educational endeavor WeGrow, which shut down in 2020, Rebekah is working on another educational project, a company called SOLFL, meant to sound like "soulful" and translate to a "Student of Life, for Life." You can check out SOLFL's Instagram page. She has reportedly set up the SOLFL school in a building in Amagansett. It is attended by her own kids and the children of several other families. -Vanity Fair
Following his departure from WeWork, Adam Neuman remained silent for two years, granting his first public interview to The New York Times in November 2021, two weeks after his former company WeWork went public. Since he left WeWork, he has been putting money into real-estate and tech-related startups and has taken on the role of venture capitalist. As of the writing of this article, he had invested in 49 companies via his family fund, which has over 50 people on staff (Financial Times).
As of 2022, there are 750 WeWork locations located in 121 cities around the world.
Yes. While exploring the WeCrashed fact vs. fiction, we discovered that Adam Neumann still owns about 10% of WeWork. He recently became eligible to sit on WeWork's board again. -Quartz