He’s the owner of the New England Patriots, and his business empire is based in Massachusetts, but Robert Kraft is very much a fixture in Palm Beach, Fla.
Kraft is facing misdemeanor charges of soliciting a prostitute, after police say he was twice videotaped paying for a sex act at a massage parlor in Jupiter, Fla.
Just this month, Kraft, fresh off the team’s Super Bowl LIII victory, attended the Dana-Farber Cancer Institute gala in Palm Beach. Kraft also was at the Everglades Foundation’s dinner dance on Feb. 16. He reportedly donated $100,000 during the cash call, and drew loud applause for his on-the-spot gift.
Robert Kraft is a member of the Palm Beach Country Club, which he frequented with his late wife, Myra. Kraft, who owns homes in Massachusetts, has a double apartment on oceanfront Breakers Row that he stays in while visiting the Palm Beach.
Kraft, one of the National Football League’s most prominent team owners, has long been a visible part-time Palm Beach residents. Along with the likes of Karl Rove, Sean Hannity and fellow Palm Beacher Rudy Giuliani, he attended the wedding reception of another part-time island resident, Rush Limbaugh, in 2010 at The Breakers.
Kraft has been involved in Palm Beach real estate as well. The Palm Beach Daily News reported that the NFL champion Patriots’ owner was involved in the 2010 sale of an oceanfront vacant lot at 947 N. Ocean Blvd. for a recorded $19.32 million.
The property was sold by a trust with which Kraft was affiliated. The trust, which had bought the vacant lot five years before, sold the 1.6-acre lot to a company linked in public records to Philadelphia Phillies co-owner John Middleton. Middleton then built a new house there.
Kraft, too, is in President Donald Trump’s social circle, though it is not clear whether he is a Mar-a-Lago club member. But Kraft has been spotted having dinner with the president at the Southern White House.
Kraft has said that Trump, who was then a billionaire real estate tycoon with speculated political ambitions, steadfastly consoled him after the death of Myra Kraft in 2011.
“When Myra died, Melania and Donald came up to the funeral in our synagogue, then they came for memorial week to visit with me,” Kraft told writer Gary Myers in January 2017. “Then he called me once a week for the whole year, the most depressing year of my life when I was down and out. He called me every week to see how I was doing, invited me to things, tried to lift my spirits. He was one of five or six people that were like that. I remember that.”
A Democrat, Kraft reportedly donated $1 million to Trump’s inauguration.
Trump on Friday said he was “surprised” to see Kraft charged with solicitation. He said that Kraft denied the allegations.
“Well it’s very sad,” Trump said when asked about the charges from the Oval Office. “I was very surprised to see it. He’s proclaimed his innocence totally, but I’m very surprised to see it.”
Kraft heads The Kraft Group, which is headquartered in Foxboro, Mass., where the Patriots’ stadium is located. Besides the NFL team, Kraft also owns the New England Revolution MLS club and an investment in stake in Ultimate Fighting Championship, a mix martial arts promoter. Last October, the Forbes 400 list of U.S. billionaires ranked Kraft’s fortune of $6.6 billion at 79th, in a tie with California real estate mogul John A. Sobrato.