Why George Floyd’s Family Is Suing Kanye West: Lawyer Interview – Hollywood Life

Why George Floyd’s Family’s Filing $250M Lawsuit Against Kanye West: Exclusive Lawyer Interview

An attorney representing George Floyd's family told HL it's 'a little too late' for Kanye West to apologize for claiming that George died of a drug overdose.

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Kanye West, 45, is being sued for $250 million by the family of George Floyd, whose death at the hands of police officers in Minneapolis, Minnesota, in May 2020, sparked the worldwide Black Lives Matter movement. On an Oct. 17 episode of the Drink Champs podcast, Kanye said that officer Derek Chauvin, who was convicted of murder after a videotape surfaced that showed him holding his knee over George’s neck for more than 9 minutes, was not actually responsible for the death. “They hit him with the fentanyl. If you look, the guy’s knee wasn’t even on his neck like that,” Kanye claimed in the podcast, which has since been removed from the air.

Ye would double down on questioning the manner of Floyd’s death, despite the coroner’s report stating that George died from “asphyxiation from sustained pressure” after Derek Chauvin knelt on the man’s neck. “Do you have friends that were killed by police officers? Do you have friends that were locked up? Do you have people aborting half your race? No,” Ye said during an Oct. 21 episode of Piers Morgan’s TalkTV program Piers Morgan Uncensored. “So I am the black person with the black experience that’s worth $11 billion. And as the most influential person on the planet, I am questioning it.”

“And I have a right to question it… You can’t tell me with your accent that, me as an American, Jew, black person, that I cannot question that death…” added West. When Morgan spoke about George Floyd’s family suing Ye for his comments, West said, “Well, anybody who loses a loved one, my heart goes out to them, any race. My heart goes out to the pain of that.”

Several days after Ye’s appearance on Drink Champs, George’s ex, Roxie Washington, 40, lawyered up on behalf of George’s 8-year-old daughter, Gianna, to battle it out in court with Kanye over his unacceptable remarks. HollywoodLife spoke EXCLUSIVELY to the attorney representing the Floyd family, who told us in a lengthy interview that the family was “hurt, confused, and angry” after hearing Kanye’s false claims.


George Floyd
George Floyd’s brother Philonise Floyd (2nd from Right) and George Floyd’s daughter Gianna Floyd (Right) watch as President Joe Biden signs a historic Executive Order to advance effective, accountable policing and strengthen public safety during an event held in the East Room of The White House in Washington, DC, on May 25, 2022. (Pool/ABACA/Shutterstock)

“The lawsuit is expected to be filed in the next couple of weeks. We are still interviewing potential defendants and want to get all of that tucked in before we file,” said attorney Kay Harper Williams with Witherspoon Law Group — the firm that is representing the Floyd family. When asked by HollywoodLife if there is anything that Kanye could do to cause them to withdraw the suit, they said, “That would be a little too late for that. The harm has already been done to my client. An apology, based on Mr. West’s commentary on Mr. Floyd’s estate and on Mr. Floyd himself, would likely not feel genuine because his behavior has not changed,” the attorney told us. Find out what else they had to say about this impending lawsuit, including why they chose the figure that they did.

Gianna Floyd
George Floyd’s youngest daughter, Gianna, was “traumatized” by Kanye West’s remarks, which falsely claimed that her father died from a fentanyl overdose. (Pool/ABACA/Shutterstock)

HollywoodLife: Is there anything that would cause you NOT to file the lawsuit?

Kay Harper Williams: I can’t imagine that there is a reason that would intervene in us filing the lawsuit.

HollywoodLife: What if Kanye apologized?

Kay Harper Williams: I am sorry but Gianna is not going to dismiss this. He must understand that there are consequences to his words, and we are here to make him learn that lesson.

HollywoodLife: How did the family feel when they first saw the podcast?

Kay Harper Williams: The family was hurt, confused, and angry. Like many people. It is more hurtful to the family and they are offended. A host of emotions flood in when you hear something like that. Mr. Floyd’s cause of death has been proven in two courts of law. The statements from Kanye West are false, baseless, and designed to benefit him financially. You must look at this from everything that is going on right now, including his White Lives Matter shirts, as well as his potential purchase of Parler, the conservative social media platform. When you look at this from the lens of all of that, you must understand that this was likely calculated, and it serves a financial benefit to Mr. West.

HollywoodLife: Why did Kanye’s claims that it was an overdose of fentanyl bother the family so much?

Kay Harper Williams:  George Floyd was murdered. Anyone who had the same pressure applied to their neck that Mr. Floyd did would have passed away. Two courts, experts, and medical examiners all testified. It is completely baseless and vile. We are here to make sure that does not continue.

HollywoodLife: Has Kanye responded?

Kay Harper Williams: We sent the cease and desist letter to an attorney for Kanye West, who has said that he is not representing him in this matter. We have not heard from Kanye West, or his camp, at this point.

HollywoodLife: Has Kanye removed any of the digital media that exists, including the podcast?

Kay Harper Williams: How could you remove something in the universe once it is out there? It exists in this virtual world. It’s been shared so many times and viewed by millions of people.

HollywoodLife: Why did the family choose $250 million?

Kay Harper Williams: If someone that you love had their life taken in that manner and you watched it, it is incredibly traumatizing. In this world with these billion-dollar corporations, the only thing that gets their attention is when you hit them in their pockets. All the marching and activist that people do is important, but things change when they cost. Mr. West and his partners made a choice to retraumatize George Floyd’s family.

HollywoodLife: What are the next steps?

Kay Harper Williams: We simply must do our due diligence and make sure that we have included all the responsible parties and that we are doing everything that we must do to protect our client. We are here for Gianna. We are here for the culture. We are here for George Floyd’s legacy and his estate.