Fake SBF sketch inspired Trump Jr.’s ask to look ‘sexy,’ per report

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Donald Trump Jr. steps out for a break at former President Donald Trump's civil fraud trial on November 02, 2023 in New York City.

Donald Trump Jr. steps out for a break at former President Donald Trump’s civil fraud trial on November 02, 2023 in New York City.

David Dee Delgado/Getty Images

Disgraced crypto mogul Sam Bankman-Fried had a brief respite from the degradation of his jury trial this week, when a fake portrait of him in the style of a courtroom sketch went viral, depicting him with strong features, spiky hair and a chiseled jawline.

The flattering portrayal attracted at least one notable fan: Donald Trump Jr. The former president’s oldest son has also been in a New York courtroom this week, testifying in a civil fraud suit over his family’s real estate business. According to a report from Reuters, the 45-year-old told his courtroom’s sketch artist, “Make me look sexy,” and specifically mentioned the Bankman-Fried drawing, which appears to have been generated by an artificial intelligence tool, as inspiration.

Trump Jr. told Jane Rosenberg, the courtroom sketch artist, that the image made Bankman-Fried look like a “superstar,” she told Reuters. She added that Trump Jr. suggested it as an example for her drawing of him. Rosenberg told Reuters that she informed the son of the former president that the rendition was fake, and that “there’s no one in the courtroom drawing that.”

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It’s likely that Trump Jr. saw the image circulating on social media this week. The so-called drawing, barely recognizable as Bankman-Fried but labeled by blue-checked accounts on X as a “courtroom sketch” from his trial, began circulating alongside jokes about the overly attractive portrayal of the infamously scruffy former executive. The image got an extra boost thanks to a response from Elon Musk.

In this courtroom sketch, FTX founder Sam Bankman-Fried is questioned during his trial in Manhattan federal court, Thursday, Oct. 26, 2023, in New York.

In this courtroom sketch, FTX founder Sam Bankman-Fried is questioned during his trial in Manhattan federal court, Thursday, Oct. 26, 2023, in New York.

Elizabeth Williams/AP

With cameras not allowed in Bankman-Fried’s courtroom, followers of the saga have relied on the courtroom sketches by Rosenberg and others to envision the scene. The genuine sketches are usually far more colorful and emotive than the image that fooled Trump Jr., though, and far less glamorous.

Unfortunately for Bankman-Fried, the fake drawing was probably the real highlight of his week. On Thursday evening, the jury returned its verdict: guilty on all seven counts.

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