Kanye West will likely see a legal fate similar to that of conspiracy theorist Alex Jones, a legal expert has warned, after the rapper was hit with a $250 million lawsuit by the family of George Floyd.
During an appearance on the Drink Champs podcast, West discussed Candace Owens’ new documentary The Greatest Lie Ever Sold: George Floyd and the Rise of BLM and alleged that Floyd’s death was caused by synthetic opioid fentanyl and not asphyxiation, which medical experts determined was the cause of death.
“They hit [Floyd] with the fentanyl. If you look, the guy’s knee wasn’t even on his neck like that,” West, who has legally changed his name to Ye, said on the podcast.
Attorneys for Roxie Washington, the mother of Floyd’s daughter, who is a minor, announced on Tuesday that they were working to file a $250 million lawsuit for “misappropriation, defamation and infliction of emotional distress” against West.
Nuru Witherspoon, attorney and founder of Witherspoon Law Group, said in a press release: “The interests of the child are priority. George Floyd’s daughter is being retraumatized by Kanye West’s comments and he’s creating an unsafe and unhealthy environment for her.”
“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,” said attorney Pat D. Dixon III with Dixon & Dixon Attorneys at Law.
Floyd was a Black man who was killed by police officers in Minneapolis, in May 2020. His death caused worldwide protests after a video circulated online showing officer Derek Chauvin kneeling on Floyd’s neck for more than nine minutes as he gasped for breath.
Amid questions over whether Floyd’s family will prevail in pursuit of legal action against West, attorney Andrew Lieb, managing partner at New York firm Lieb at Law, P.C., told Newsweek that the musician may face consequences similar to Jones.
Infowars founder Jones last week was ordered by a Connecticut jury to pay the family members of eight Sandy Hook victims and an FBI agent who responded to the 2012 school shooting $965 million for describing the massacre as a hoax.
Jones was found liable for defamation after spending years describing the shooting, in which 20 first-graders and six school administrators were killed, as a hoax and accusing the victims involved of being actors complicit in staging the deadly tragedy. Prosecutors were asking for $550 million.
This is the second multimillion-dollar verdict against Jones, who was ordered in August to pay $4 million in compensatory damages and $45.2 million in punitive damages to another set of parents whose child was killed in the Sandy Hook shooting.