The Profile: The NFL's broken gladiator & the startup lending you clothes

Good morning!

Good news — we have secured a venue and a sponsor for a casual drinks meet-up for Profile readers in New York City. Still ironing out final details, but please keep the evening of Thursday, Nov. 1 open. A separate email with an official invite will follow soon. Hope to meet many of you there!

In other news, I’m so glad you opened this week’s email because there is a six-part series on the unraveling and secrets of Aaron Hernandez’s life. You guys know I don’t mean it lightly when I say that I quite honestly could not put this one down. It’s so well-done because it was produced by The Boston Globe’s Spotlight team (yep, the same investigative unit that reported on abuse in the Catholic Church).

I hope you enjoy.

 The NFL’s broken gladiator [**HIGHLY RECOMMEND**]
— The hacker stealing baseball secrets
— The loneliest man in Hollywood
— The startup lending you clothes
— The escort service targeting student debt
The actor who keeps you guessing


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PEOPLE TO KNOW.

The NFL’s broken gladiator: Aaron Hernandez lived a life of secrets — about his childhood, his football career, his sexuality, his drug habits, and his fascination with violence. Boston Globe reporters obtained recordings of 300 phone calls Hernandez made from jail over a six-month period while he awaited trial. His conversations with family, friends, and former teammates open a window on his life the public has never seen.

“You have to find inner peace to be happy. Nothing you get is gonna make you happy. Just like me, like by having money … having everything in the world, I still was miserable. Know what I mean?”

The hacker stealing baseball secrets: As a rising Cardinals analyst, Chris Correa didn’t believe he was committing a crime when he hacked into the Houston Astros’ internal database. He obtained their draft rankings, their scouting reports, and notes on their trade discussions. After getting sentenced to 46 months in prison, Correa completely changed his views on his actions and the criminal justice system at large.

"I just think we're fomenting recidivism. It doesn't make a lot of sense, to see it firsthand.”

The loneliest man in Hollywood: Remember that Rolling Stone profile of Johnny Depp we featured a few months ago? It portrayed Depp as a lonely man lost in the haze of booze living a lifestyle he can’t afford. Depp called the article a “sham” and claimed he was “shafted.” Now, in a new GQ profile, the actor talks candidly about the torment — the divorce, the violence, the excess, and the vengeance — that the last few years have had on his psyche. And, sadly, it’s not any more flattering.

“The truth will come out in all of this and I will be standing on the other side of the roaring rapids. I hope other people will too.”

COMPANIES TO WATCH.

The startup lending you clothes: The average American buys 68 items of clothing each year, 80% of which are seldom worn. Enter Rent the Runway. The luxury fashion startup now offers a subscription service allowing customers to keep up to four items at a time, rotating out any piece as often as they want. In other words, it lets you rent your wardrobe. This business model begs the question — Is it worth investing money in your self-image if that image is just on loan?

“I rent everything in my life except my pajamas, my undergarments, and my shoes.”

The escort service targeting student debt: SeekingArrangement is a web service that connects a “sugar baby” (typically a woman) to a “sugar daddy” (a man) for a relationship that offers financial support in exchange for companionship and/or more. Now, the site is marketing itself as an antidote to student debt & entices college students with a “free upgrade.” Other than the fact that student loans are obviously a huge problem in this country, there’s a lot to unpack in this story.

"Women have sex with vile men all the time so why shouldn’t we be paid for it if we choose? I don’t deserve to be shamed for it, or scammed because of it.”

THROWBACK.

The actor who keeps you guessing: Profile reader Nikhil Jois recommended this great feature on actor Gerard Butler. An Esquire reporter was sent to Butler’s house without any context on who he was or what he did for a living. "I was told to come to this address and have a conversation with Gerry. That's the only thing I know about you,” the reporter says. Here’s a genuine account of what happens when you try to figure out who someone is on a very, very tight deadline.

“You gotta be kidding me, I'm thinking. Nobody told me this was a cover story. An oh-shit feeling floods my stomach.”