The managing partner of the Shelborne South Beach, the Miami Beach hotel where James celebrated his 27th birthday and was engaged to high school sweetheart Savannah Brinson on New Year’s Eve, said James’ staffers sent to the hotel hours before the party deemed “horrible” the five-tier cake made — free of charge — by baker Alethea Hickman.
The Boca Raton-based mom-and-pop operator Hickman, who runs two small Passion for Pastry stores in Boca Raton, had been promised wide-spread publicity in exchange for the $3,000-cake. But when she woke up on New Year Day, the pictures that ran online were of a birthday cake made by a competitor, Miami’s Divine Delicacies.
“It just wasn’t what was expected,” said the Shelborne’s Jared Galbut. “She never provided us with a design. When LeBron’s people saw it, they just didn’t want to use it and decided to bring their own. I can’t tell LeBron James what birthday cake to eat.”
When asked why the hotel requested a freebie from Hickman, Galbut called it a “sponsorship” deal.
Sponsorship for an athlete in the second year of a $100 million-deal with the Miami Heat?
Galbut declined comment when asked if James was charged anything for the entire birthday/engagement party. The Shelborne just underwent a $20 million-revamp and has been looking to make a splash in the press.
“I can’t talk about whatever financial arrangement we may have had,” Galbut said. “That’s private information.”
I also asked Galbut where Hickman’s cake ended up.
“I’m not quite sure,” he said.