The mother of George Floyd’s only heir has filed a nine-figure civil lawsuit against rapper and designer Kanye West for spewing “malicious falsehoods” regarding the deceased in a recent interview. The claim asserts the 21-time Grammy Award winner interjected Floyd’s name into his latest press campaign to “promote his brands and increase marketing value and revenue for himself.”
On Tuesday, Oct. 18, Roxie Washington, the mother of Gianna Floyd, filed a $250 million defamation lawsuit against the billionaire entertainer on behalf of her daughter.
The lawsuit comes after West’s second interview with rapper N.O.R.E. and DJ EFN’s “Drink Champs” podcast that aired on YouTube and Revolt TV on Saturday, Oct. 15.
While the full interview has been redacted from the now-posted show, Washington believes the damage has been done — stating explicitly that West is using the tragic death of her child’s father for his personal gain, Click 2 Houston reported.
In a statement, the lawyers said the artist sought to “profit from Mr. Floyd’s horrendous death and his family’s trauma.”
During the interview, Ye suggested Floyd did not die because former police officer Derek Chauvin used excessive force when he kneeled on his neck for some nine-and-a-half minutes, but expired as a result of a fentanyl overdose.
The son of a former Black Panther weighed in on Floyd’s death, saying, “I watched the George Floyd documentary that Candace Owens put up … and the day, when he died, he said a prayer for 8 minutes. [Then] they hit him with the fentanyl.”
“If you look, the guy’s knee wasn’t even on his neck… like that,” he continued. “When he said ‘Mama,’ Mama is his girlfriend. They said he screamed for his Mama … Mama was his girlfriend. It is in the documentary.”
The Witherspoon Law Group and Dixon & Dixon Attorneys at Law issued a cease-and-desist letter to West, on behalf of the family, asserting that the artist was blatantly misrepresenting the facts regarding the level that the deadly drug played in Floyd’s 2020 death at the hands of a Minnesota police officer, sparking international outrage and protests against police brutality.
In the letter obtained by TMZ, the lawyers demand “that [West] cease and desist, and remove the ‘Drink Champs’ interview and all similar statements regarding George Floyd from every podcast, website, advertisement, and social media site, no matter the platform or medium.”
It further demanded, “[West and his attorneys], employees, agents, partners, associates, and representatives refrain from publishing or causing to be published any other audio, video, statement, post, etc. regarding George Floyd, his estate, his family, and the circumstances surrounding his death, including but not limited to his manner of death.”
According to testimony by Hennepin County chief medical examiner Dr. Andrew Baker, Floyd’s heart disease, along with his use of fentanyl were not the direct cause of his death, but factors that contributed to his death.
Other experts testified before the courts, saying the man died because Chauvin pressed his knee into his neck. Chauvin has been convicted of murder and plead guilty to a federal charge of depriving the 46-year-old father of his right to be free from the use of unreasonable force by a police officer.
Dr. Vik Bebarta, an emergency physician, toxicologist, and professor at the University of Colorado in Denver, also said the officers could have helped the man, who communicated he could not breathe, and said they should have followed department policy and rolled Floyd over to save his life.
The attorneys also blasted the notion that West is entitled to say what he believes and wants because of his constitutional right.
“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,” said attorney Kay Harper Williams.
Washington’s lawsuit, filed on behalf of her daughter, said, Kanye’s “malicious falsehoods” have traumatized Floyd’s daughter.
According to the complaint, his “false statements about George Floyd’s death to promote his brands, and increase marketing value and revenue for himself, his business partners, and associates,” were made with no regard for Gianna, especially since the clip made it to various forms of social media.
Attorney Nuru Witherspoon said in a statement, “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 and unhealthy environment for her.”
Ironically, during a segment on the “Drink Champs” episode, West said he didn’t want to use words like “porn,” because his children watch his interviews, and he is conscious about making sure he uses politically correct terms.
Roland Witherspoon plans to protect another child listening, Gianna Floyd.
“As the intellectual property litigator on the team, George Floyd’s daughter’s rights will be protected and enforced through all available legal remedies,” Witherspoon said.
In a joint statement from the lawyers, the legal team asserts West’s statements not only are harmful to the daughter but are “damaging to the Floyd estate.” West has not responded to the lawsuit, according to the New York Post.