Back to IndieWire

Kanye West Faces Possible $250-Million Lawsuit from George Floyd’s Family

The Floyd family is working with two law firms and has already filed a cease-and-desist letter against West over his recent defamatory remarks.

PARIS, FRANCE - OCTOBER 02: (EDITORIAL USE ONLY - For Non-Editorial use please seek approval from Fashion House) Kanye West attends the Givenchy Womenswear Spring/Summer 2023 show as part of Paris Fashion Week  on October 02, 2022 in Paris, France. (Photo by Stephane Cardinale - Corbis/Corbis via Getty Images)

Kanye West

Corbis via Getty Images

Kanye West is facing a $250 million lawsuit from George Floyd’s family.

The potential suit follows West’s comments on a “Drink Champs” episode since removed from YouTube, in which West defamed Floyd, falsely saying he died of a fentanyl overdose instead of being murdered by Minneapolis police officers. The cause of death was formally listed as homicide. Former cop Derek Chauvin was convicted in Floyd’s death and is currently serving a 22-year sentence.

Per the press release, Roxie Washington, acting on behalf of her minor child (who is the sole beneficiary of Floyd’s estate), had retained the Witherspoon Law Group and Dixon & Dixon Attorneys at Law to file the suit against West. The suit lists Floyd’s daughter, represented jointly by the two firms, seeking $250 million in damages.

The filing would not only be against West but also his “business partners and associates” amid false claims leading to “harassment, misappropriation, defamation, and infliction of emotional distress” on the Floyd family.

“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, via Variety.

The “Drink Champs” episode was removed from distribution due to “false and hurtful information,” with co-host N.O.R.E. apologizing for West’s statements. “I don’t support none of it,” N.O.R.E. said on the radio show “The Breakfast Club.” “I don’t support the George Floyd comments, I don’t support the antisemitic [comments]. That’s all I have is Jewish friends, all I have is Black friends. That’s it.”

The formal “Drink Champs” statement reads: “‘Drink Champs’ prides itself on its ability to allow a free flow of ideas within the hip hop community. That being said, unfortunately, the recent interview with Kanye West contained false and hurtful information regarding the circumstances surrounding the murder of George Floyd. Integrity is very important and we don’t want to promote false narratives on our platform. Our goal is to celebrate the culture. Therefore, we had no choice but to remove the episode from distribution. We apologize to the family of Mr. Floyd and anyone else hurt by this episode.”

West is currently in the midst of purchasing the right-wing social media platform Parler. CEO George Farmer said, “This deal will change the world, and change the way the world thinks about free speech. Ye is making a groundbreaking move into the free speech media space and will never have to fear being removed from social media again.”

On Tuesday, West was seen in Los Angeles wearing a “White Lives Matter” T-shirt and distributing them to homeless people in Los Angeles’ Skid Row.

Sign Up: Stay on top of the latest breaking film and TV news! Sign up for our Email Newsletters here.

This Article is related to: Television and tagged ,

Get The Latest IndieWire Alerts And Newsletters Delivered Directly To Your Inbox