George Floyd Family to File $250 Million Lawsuit Against Kanye West Over Drink Champs Comments
The family of George Floyd is prepared to file a $250 million lawsuit against Kanye West for his comments on the latest episode of N.O.R.E. and DJ EFN's Drink Champs podcast.
Following news that the family of George Floyd was considering suing Kanye West for making false claims on Drinks Champs about the manner of Floyd's death on Sunday (Oct. 16), they have officially announced plans to file a $250 million lawsuit against the embattled MC. On Tuesday (Oct. 18), The Witherspoon Law Group revealed it has been retained by George Floyd's partner Roxie Washington on behalf of Floyd's daughter in order file suit against Ye "for harassment, misappropriation, defamation and infliction of emotional distress." The attorneys have filed a cease-and-desist letter to Kanye for his comments as well.
"In his recent appearance on the popular podcast ‘Drink Champs,’ Kanye West knowingly made blatantly false statements about George Floyd’s death to promote his brands, and increase marketing value and revenue for himself, his business partners, and associates," The Witherspoon Law Group released in a statement. "During the podcast interview, Kanye West stated malicious falsehoods about George Floyd to profit from Mr. Floyd’s horrendous death and his family’s trauma. The full interview has since been removed from YouTube and Revolt TV, but clips of the rapper’s rant continue to be viewed and shared on social media platforms by millions across the globe."
Attorney Kay Harper Williams, partner at The Witherspoon Law Group, says Kanye's claims cannot be covered under free speech.
“Free Speech Rights do not include harassment, lies, misrepresentation, and the misappropriation of George Floyd’s legacy. Some words have consequences and Mr. West will be made to understand that,” Williams said in a statement.
Kanye West immediately faced backlash for his comments on the Oct. 15 episode of Drinks Champs. The rapper disputed the cause of death for George Floyd, a Black man murdered by a White police officer in Minneapolis, Minn. in 2020. Floyd was killed when the officer, Derek Chauvin, kneeled on Floyd's neck for nine minutes. Despite Chauvin being convicted of murdering Floyd last year and also being held responsible for Floyd's death in civil court, Kanye sat on Drink Champs and claimed fentanyl was the cause of death, a talking point he took from Candace Owens' new documentary The Greatest Lie Ever Sold: George Floyd and the Rise of BLM.
“I watched the George Floyd documentary that Candace Owens put out," Kanye said. "One of the things that his two roommates said was, 'They want a tall guy like me,' and the day that he died, he said a prayer for eight minutes. They hit him with the fentanyl. If you look, the guy’s knee wasn’t even on his neck like that.”
Yesterday (Oct. 17), N.O.R.E. apologized for his role in letting Kanye say nonsense on his show without being immediately checked. The official video of Kanye's Drink Champs interview has since been removed from YouTube.
XXL has reached out to Kanye West's team and Revolt TV for comment.