George Floyd's family announce plans to sue Kanye West over 'malicious falsehoods'
The family of George Floyd have announced their intention to sue Kanye West for $250 million (£222 million) over his false statements about Floyd's death.
During an appearance on Drink Champs over the weekend, the controversial rapper incorrectly claimed that Floyd died of a fentanyl overdose instead of being murdered by former police officer Derek Chauvin during an arrest in May 2020.
On Tuesday, it was announced that Roxie Washington, the mother of Floyd's daughter, plans to sue West and his associates for $250 million in damages on her daughter's behalf. She is claiming on the grounds of harassment, misappropriation, defamation, and infliction of emotional distress.
While you cannot sue for defamation of a deceased person, Floyd's family's lawyers insist that West's "blatantly false claims" about Floyd have had an equally detrimental effect on his family and daughter.
"The interests of the child are priority," attorney Nuru Witherspoon said in a statement. "George Floyd's daughter is being retraumatized by Kanye West's comments and he's creating an unsafe and unhealthy environment for her."
Another 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."
In the announcement, the legal representatives revealed they had sent West a cease-and-desist letter over his remarks. They also accused the hip-hop star of stating "malicious falsehoods" to promote his brands, increase his market value and "profit from Mr. Floyd's horrendous death and his family's trauma".
While fentanyl was present in Floyd's system, medical examiners ruled his death a homicide. In 2021, Chauvin was convicted of murdering Floyd by pressing his knee to Floyd's neck for more than nine minutes as he lay face-down in the street.
West's episode of Drink Champs has since been pulled from YouTube and Revolt TV and co-host N.O.R.E. has apologised for giving the rapper a platform to express his controversial opinions.
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