While the woman dubbed by LeBron James as “Courtside Karen” has been rightfully getting the bulk of the negative attention surrounding her high-profile ejection from an NBA game this week, a closer look at her husband’s history of political donations could shed some light on her privileged behavior.
The woman, identified as Juliana Carlos, made headlines for all the wrong reasons after she confronted pro basketball’s most recognizable star during the middle of a game Monday night in an exchange that allegedly included James calling her husband, Chris Carlos, an “ol steroid ass.” That was likely a reference to Chris Carlos’ muscular physique that he loves to showcase on his Instagram account, which was recently made private. His wife’s Instagram is still public, though, and features multiple photos of the couple.
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But it’s Chris Carlos’ pockets that are really strong. The longtime employee at his family’s business in Georgia has a reported whopping net worth of $80 million, a financial security blanket that has afforded him the ability to donate liberally to what appear to be mostly conservative political interests.
According to campaign finance website Open Secrets, Chris Carlos has donated to the likes of Donald Trump, Rudy Giuliani and many other Republican officials and organizations.
Among them is now-former Sen. David Purdue, who lost his runoff election against Jon Ossoff, an upstart Democrat whose win helped give the U.S. Senate a slim partisan majority. Between 2014 and the present, Chris Carlos donated nearly $30,000 to Purdue’s campaigns, including more than half of that amount being spent (in vain) on the most recent election cycle.
And so it followed that social media sleuths were able to uncover some of Chris Carlos’ Instagram posts that provide a glimpse at his political views, including one from 2017 that said he didn’t “like” LeBron, one honoring Trump and another, of course, calling Barack Obama “the worst president in the history of this country.”
Chris Carlos also gave many thousands of dollars to the Republican National Committee, donating up to $2,800 with each contribution.
To perhaps give a better idea of Chris Carlos’ approach to overindulgence, the New York Times featured him in an article from 2007 about Georgia households that waste water. The Times identified him back then as “a wealthy investor who is a member of one of Atlanta’s most well known and philanthropic families” who used 440,000 gallons of water in a single month in the middle of a drought. That was in comparison to the average American household’s monthly use of roughly half that amount of water.
“Mr. Carlos has apparently been using the water not only to flush nine toilets and maintain a swimming pool but also to refresh nearly four acres of lush landscaping around his white-columned, red brick home,” the Times reported.
With that said, there were instances of Chris Carlos donating to Democrats, however few they were. They included a one-time contribution of $500 to John Lewis back in 2008 and more than $5,000 in two separate donations to Chuck Schumer.
But for the most part, Chris Carlos’ political donations were spread among Republican interests, something that LeBron James has become increasingly vocal against in recent years, a fact that may have helped to prompt the brief showdown in Atlanta.
After posting multiple selfie videos to social media disparaging LeBron following her and her husband’s ejection from the game, Juliana Carlos changed her tune and issued an apology taking responsibility for her actions. She blamed her behavior on rushing to inexplicably defend her husband from a professional basketball player who was in the middle of playing a game.