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Jonathan Cheban (born February 21, 1974) is the founder and former CEO of CommandPR, a full-service public relations firm with offices in both New York City and Los Angeles. He rose to prominence through his high-profile friendship with socialite Kim Kardashian and appearances on her reality shows, as well as starring in his own reality series, The Spin Crowd.
Jonathan Cheban was born on February 21, 1974 in Fort Lee, New Jersey, United States, to Russian Jewish parents, Mikhail, a diamond dealer, and Galina, a real estate agent with Sotheby's. He is an only child. Cheban attended Fort Lee High School, graduating in 1992. He then attended Hofstra University, where he majored in communications, while at the same time exploring New York nightlife.
After graduating from Hofstra University in 1995, Cheban worked in the entertainment, modeling and public relations industries for several years in both New York and Los Angeles. His big break came when he accepted a job working with Peggy Siegel, a high-powered publicist at her firm in New York. At one point, music manager Benny Medina called Siegel to work on Sean (P. Diddy) Combs' 29th birthday party. When Siegel rejected the offer despite Cheban's urging, Cheban accepted the job himself. The resulting turnout was very successful, and those in the entertainment world began to take notice of Cheban.
Growing more confident in his abilities, Cheban left Siegel and formed his own PR firm with two other publicists. He was soon representing such big-name clients as Banana Republic, Baccarat Crystal, Oscar de la Hoya, Backstreet Boys, Playboy, and clubs like Spa and Luan. However, he split with his partners in 2001 and he founded his own public relations firm, CommandPR. In 2010, he took on fellow publicist Simon Huck as a partner in the firm. As of March 2013, however, it was reported that Cheban and Huck parted ways, with Huck buying out Cheban's share of the company. Cheban remains a consultant to the firm.
Cheban first gained public attention with his appearance in the third season of the hit reality show, Keeping Up with the Kardashians, appearing as a friend of the Kardashian sisters. He subsequently appeared in several episodes of the show's spin-offs, Kourtney and Kim Take New York and Kourtney and Kim Take Miami. He came to be known in all three series as Kim Kardashian's BFF, which is slang for "Best Friends Forever."
In 2010, Cheban starred in his own reality show, the The Spin Crowd, chronicling the lives of Cheban, Huck and their employees at his firm. Cheban explained his vision of the series as giving "people what they're really interested in. Everyone reads magazines and newspapers and blogs and they think items just appear there. They don't. It takes a whole industry to create that content." The series was executive produced by Kim Kardashian. It was canceled after one season due to poor ratings.
Cheban's relationship with Kim Kardashian has remained in the public spotlight. In 2012, Cheban made a short video spoofing himself as someone living in the shadow of Kardashian's fame. It has also been reported that Cheban and Kardashian had a falling-out after Cheban was not named godfather of her newborn daughter, North West, with partner, Kanye West. However, more recent press shows that Cheban and Kardashian are still close.
In 2008, Cheban launched his own clothing line, Kritik. Cheban also has designed jewelry for RichRocks, which is popular among celebrities. In late 2012, Cheban opened Sushi MiKasa, a restaurant in Miami. He plans next on opening a burger franchise.
In late 2012, Cheban began dating Anat Popovsky after meeting the 26-year-old stylist while filming Kourtney and Kim Take Miami. However, Cheban signed on as a single man looking for love to the premiere episode of the seventh season of Millionaire Matchmaker, which will debut on December 5, 2013 on the Bravo Network.