On Tuesday, lawyers representing Roxie Washington accused the rapper, who now legally goes by Ye, of spreading “malicious falsehoods” in an effort to promote himself and generate revenue for his businesses.
Along with the $250 million suit, Floyd’s family has also issued a cease-and-desist letter asking that Ye stop spreading his lies.
The litigation comes after Ye’s weekend appearance on the “Drink Champs” podcast, where the rapper said he believed fentanyl caused the man’s death — a common right-wing conspiracy theory.
In reality, Floyd died due to the actions of now-former Minneapolis police officer Derek Chauvin, who restrained the 46-year-old Black man by pinning his neck to the ground with his knee for more than nine minutes.
“If you look, the guy’s knee wasn’t even on his neck like that,” Ye said on the podcast, despite a jury finding Chauvin guilty of that very act.
While Floyd’s autopsy did detect fentanyl in his system, an independent autopsy and Hennepin County’s chief medical examiner, Dr. Andrew Baker, both concurred that the drug did not cause Floyd’s death.
During his three-hour “Drink Champs” appearance, Ye also dabbled in antisemitic conspiracies and revisited his position that the phrase “‘white lives matter’ doesn’t mean that Black lives don’t matter.”
A representative for the podcast told The Hollywood Reporter on Tuesday that “Drink Champs” has since taken down the episode, though clips are still circulating on social media.
“Drink Champs prides itself on its ability to allow a free flow of ideas within the hip hop community. That being said, unfortunately, the recent interview with Kanye West contained false and hurtful information regarding the circumstances surrounding the murder of George Floyd,” the podcast said in a statement.
“Therefore, we had no choice but to remove the episode from distribution. We apologize to the family of Mr. Floyd and anyone else hurt by this episode.”
Ye’s claim seemed to originate from a recent documentary produced by the controversial extreme-right pundit Candace Owens. The rapper and Owens have recently appeared in public together, including at the film’s release in Tennessee last week.
Lawyers for Washington did not immediately respond to a request for comment from HuffPost.