The family of George Floyd is preparing a $250 million defamation lawsuit against Kanye West over false comments he made about Floyd’s death during an appearance on the Drink Champs podcast.
Roxie Washington, the mother of Floyd’s only daughter Gianna, intends to sue West, his business partners, and his associates for harassment, misappropriation, defamation, and infliction of emotional distress, according to a statement released on Tuesday. The family is seeking $250 million in damages.
During the podcast, West asserted the false claim that Floyd died from fentanyl. “I watched the George Floyd documentary that Candace Owens put out… They hit him with the fentanyl. If you look, the guy’s knee wasn’t even on his neck like that,” West said.
While Floyd had a trace amount of fentanyl in his system, both a coroner and medical experts concluded that he died from a lack of oxygen caused by former police officer Derek Chauvin placing his knee on top of Floyd’s neck for eight minutes. Chauvin was later convicted of Floyd’s murder and sentenced to 22 years in prison.
“The interests of the child are the priority. George Floyd’s daughter is being retraumatized by Kanye West’s comments, and he’s creating an unsafe and unhealthy environment for her,” said Nuru Witherspoon, an attorney representing the Floyd family, in a statement on Tuesday.
Lee Merritt, another lawyer for Floyd’s family, insinuated that legal action would be taken against West in a statement posted to social media on Sunday. “While one cannot defame the dead, the family of #GeorgeFloyd is considering suit for Kanye’s false statements about the manner of his death,” Merritt said. “Claiming Floyd died from fentanyl not the brutality established criminally and civilly undermines & diminishes the Floyd family’s fight.”
Over the course of his three-hour appearance on Drink Champs, West continued his antisemitic behavior by making numerous derogatory remarks about Jewish people. He also repeatedly insulted his ex-wife, Kim Kardashian, her former boyfriend Pete Davidson, and several individuals including Puff Daddy and John Legend who have spoken out against West’s recent conduct. Most of West’s statements went unchallenged by the podcast’s hosts.
Editor’s Note: This article has been updated to include details on the Floyd family’s lawsuit against West.
While one cannot defame the dead, the family of #GeorgeFloyd is considering suit for Kanye’s false statements about the manner of his death.
Claiming Floyd died from fentanyl not the brutality established criminally and civilly undermines & diminishes the Floyd family’s fight.
— Lee Merritt (@MerrittForTexas) October 16, 2022
NEW: Lawyers for George Floyd daughter plan to file $250M lawsuit vs. Kanye West. "Kanye's comments are a repugnant attempt to discount George Floyd's life & to profit from his inhumane death. We will hold Mr. West accountable for his flagrant remarks against Mr. Floyd's legacy." pic.twitter.com/w56rTtCKtu
— Matt Sullivan (@sullduggery) October 18, 2022