Kanye West sued for £221m by George Floyd’s family over ‘malicious’ remarks

The family of George Floyd are suing Kanye West, now known as Ye, for $250 million (£221 million) over comments the billionaire rapper and entrepreneur made about Floyd's death during a podcast recording.

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Appearing on US podcast Drink Champs, Ye asserted Mr Floyd was killed by an opioid overdose, disputing the coroner’s evidence. A cease and desist letter issued by lawyers representing the family said Ye’s remarks were a “repugnant attempt to discount George Floyd’s life and to profit from his inhumane death”.

George Floyd died in 2020 after police officer Derek Chauvin knelt on his neck for nine minutes in Minneapolis, Minnesota. A bystander recorded the unarmed black man’s final minutes in footage shared online worldwide. His death sparked global riots and protests led by the Black Lives Matter organisation and movement.

Chauvin was convicted of murder and manslaughter and given a 22-and-a-half-year jail sentence in 2021. A statement conveyed to the PA news agency read: “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.”

Lawyer Pat D Dixon III added: “Kanye’s comments are a repugnant attempt to discount George Floyd’s life and to profit from his inhumane death. We will hold Mr West accountable for his flagrant remarks against Mr Floyd’s legacy.”

George Floyd hat

George Floyd was murdered by a police officer in 2020

The mother of Mr Floyd’s daughter, Roxie Washington, plans to file the multimillion-dollar lawsuit for “harassment, misappropriation, defamation, and infliction of emotional distress,” the statement said.

“The interests of the child are a priority,” attorney Nuru Witherspoon said in the statement. “George Floyd’s daughter is being re-traumatised by Kanye West’s comments and he’s creating an unsafe and unhealthy environment for her.”

Two weeks earlier, Ye sparked further controversy after attending an event at the Paris Fashion Week wearing a T-shirt that read “White Lives Matter”.

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