The two met at Coachella in 2015 or 2016, and developed a relationship early on in the pandemic, Thomas told Grim in a November interview for a feature on Thiel.
Thomas said he didn’t share the political views of his partner, who has emerged as a key figure in right-wing politics in recent years. Thiel made major contributions to former President Donald Trump, and Republican Senate candidates J.D. Vance in Ohio and Blake Masters in Arizona, among others.
In 2016, he donated $1.25 million split between several Trump-backed PACs, and spoke at the Republican convention that year.
“I was wondering why he was being affiliated with someone like Trump, and investing in him, if he’s gay,” Thomas said, noting that his father was a Republican and his Texas upbringing helped him understand people with different views.
Thomas nevertheless tried to influence his partner.
“I told him to stay out of politics,” Thomas said. “And he did, and so he didn’t support Trump in 2020. He stayed out of it. I was like, OK, great. So I did my part, I influenced him to stay out of it.”
Thomas acknowledged the relationship wasn’t without perks. Thiel purchased a $13 million Hollywood Hills home for his partner, according to the report.
“If I’m gonna give up the relationships I have and give up my dreams right now, during Covid, or dating other guys or pursuing people, then I’m going to get a $300,000 car and I’m going to get a $13 million home,” Thomas said.
But by last October, his status in the relationship started to wear thin.
“I don’t think it’s very satisfying, to be honest, to be kept,” Thomas said in October. “I saw the spark in me fade away, and it was toxic, and it was unhealthy, and I’ve had multiple talks with myself this year, about getting out of it, and I’ve actually discussed to him about it, like, I can’t do this anymore. You know, my mental health is at risk.”
The circumstances surrounding Thomas’ death are not known. But his brother, Skyler Ray Thomas, indicated in a Facebook post that the death was likely a suicide.
“As you have followed through the years, Jeff traveled the world and lived life to the fullest,” the post said.
“What you may not know, is Jeff struggled with addiction and mental health challenges, which ultimately led to his tragic passing. While Jeff’s struggles were difficult, we want to remember him for the kind and caring person he was. He had a contagious sense of humor, a love for music, art and family, and a passion for helping others. He touched the lives of so many people, and his memory will live on in our hearts forever.”
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