Kanye West is facing a potential $250 million dollar lawsuit ordered by Roxie Washington, the mother of George Floyd’s underage daughter and the sole beneficiary of Floyd’s estate, in response to the rapper-mogul’s comments about Floyd’s murder on a recent episode of Revolt.TV’s “Drink Champs.”
In a press release, the Floyd family confirms it is working with two law firms, the Witherspoon Law Group and Dixon and Dixon Attorneys at Law, and has filed a cease-and-desist letter to West, also known as Ye. According to the statement, the lawsuit will target West as well as unnamed “business partners and associates” for “harassment, defamation and infliction of emotional distress.”
Floyd was killed by former police offer Derek Chauvin — who was convicted on two counts of murder and one of manslaughter — in Minneapolis after being arrested on suspicion of using a counterfeit $20 bill, which ultimately spurred a wave of nationwide protests against police brutality in the U.S.
In West’s recent appearance on “Drink Champs,” he made the claim that Floyd’s death was due to a fentanyl overdose rather than the use of force by Chauvin, a claim that comes from the discovery of a nonlethal amount of fentanyl found in Floyd’s system. It’s worth noting this is a false claim, as the Hennepin County medical examiner’s office ruled Floyd’s death was a homicide.
Lawyers for the Floyd family did not immediately respond to Variety‘s request for comment.
“The interests of the child are priority. George Floyd’s daughter is being traumatized by Kanye West’s comments and he’s creating an unsafe environment for her,” wrote Nuru Witherspoon from the Witherspoon Law Group.
Following the release of the full podcast episode, “Drink Champs” interviewer N.O.R.E. apologized for misusing his platform during a call to “The Breakfast Club” on Monday morning. “I did not realize that the George Floyd statements made by Kanye on my show were so hurtful,” he said. “You have to realize that it was the first five minutes of the show — like when he walked in, he told my producer that if we stop filming, he’ll walk out. So I didn’t want a Birdman moment, like when he walked out, so I wanted the man to speak.”
The episode has since been removed from YouTube and Revolt.TV, but as the Floyd family statement points out, “clips of the rapper’s rant continue to be viewed and shared on social media platforms by millions across the globe.”
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