cover story podcast

Why Is This Billionaire Giving Women Millions of Dollars?

Our new podcast explores whether he’s buying their silence or just being … a generous guy.

Photo-Illustration: Intelligencer; Photos Getty Images
Photo-Illustration: Intelligencer; Photos Getty Images

In episode two of Seed Money, we explore some kinks of billionaire Mike Goguen. His former right-hand man Matthew Marshall tells us he has a Batman obsession. According to Marshall, Goguen sometimes refers to himself as Bruce Wayne, wears Batman underwear, and runs a rescue-helicopter operation called “Two Bear Air,” a motif that shows up at the entrance of his massive compound in the mountains above Whitefish, Montana.

Photo: Ken Silverstein

The billionaire himself admits he has a “bit of a hero complex.” He says it’s true that that he gives millions of dollars to women but claims it’s in line with many of his other good deeds:

Hanna Rosin: I understand you’ve told us “I don’t pay for sex,” and I understand that, but like, you know, payments to women who you’ve had sex with — like, why? It’s unusual to give women so much money.

Mike Goguen: It’s actually reasonably consistent with other things I do. It’s, when you find something you care about or a someone you care about, you know, you, you, I, at least, anyway, try to always listen carefully to what it is that would help them over time become their best selves.

To sort through this contradiction, we turn to the documents: hundreds of text messages between Goguen and Marshall and Goguen and various women. But the only way to truly find out what’s going on is to track down the women and ask: “How was it for you?”

To find out what they say, listen to Seed Money.

Cover Story: Seed Money

In the new season of Cover Story, a billionaire hiding out in Whitefish, Montana, is getting away with some “evil shit,” according to … his ex–best friend.

Cover Story is a production of New York Magazine. This season, Seed Money, is hosted by Hanna Rosin. The story originates with Ken Silverstein, who also reported it. Our senior producers are Marianne McCune and Whitney Jones. Also produced by Noor Bouzidi, Kathleen Horan, and Liza Yeager. Sound design and engineering as well as additional editorial help by Sharif Youssef. Cover Story’s theme music is by Santigold. Series music by Devin Clara Fanslow. Fact-checking by Britina Cheng and Ted Hart. Special thanks to legal minds Elissa Cohen, Jillian Robbins, and Samantha Mason. Also thanks to Nichole Hill, Rider Alsop, and Gaby Grossman. Follow the show on Apple PodcastsSpotify, or wherever you get your podcasts.

More From the 'cover story' podcast

See All
Why Is This Billionaire Giving Women Millions of Dollars?