Adidas last year filed legal action to freeze $75 million in assets of Kanye West’s Yeezy brand.
First the almost unsealed court documents discovered from Law360 revealed the finding. According to records, Adidas filed the lawsuit on November 11, just weeks after the company publicly announced its split from the rapper over extreme anti-Semitic comments. Adidas attempted to freeze the funds to prevent the rapper from postponing them while the two parties settled their disagreement in private arbitration. The judge in the case issued the order unilaterally and didn’t give Yeezy a chance to respond.
“The plaintiff has established that he has complied with the grounds for garnishment because the court is satisfied that there is a risk that Yeezy will remove or destroy assets if Yeezy is notified of this garnishment request,” Judge Valerie E .Caproni in the order of November 11. Kanye West himself confirmed this on November 22, when he spoke to a prominent news outlet and announced his 2024 presidential bid.
“The reason I’m announcing that I’m running for President is because I want the FCC to look after my money,” the rapper said told the branch last year. “If they actually saw it, I would have looked at my money and there might have been a possibility that Adidas would not have taken action at JP Morgan, frozen my account and blocked four different accounts with $75 million.”
“Four nights ago I was no longer a multi-billionaire and couldn’t even use my Apple Pay. I couldn’t use my apple pay because somehow adidas could legally step in and freeze my money and when I see this I think well if this could happen to me, could this happen to other Americans and for what? You know that can happen to an American who hasn’t even stolen anything, who hasn’t even hurt anyone. This could happen to you because you said the wrong idea out loud.”
These claims were reported but not confirmed because the court files were sealed. A decision by Judge Caproni unsealed those records earlier this month. Yeezy’s discussion of said asset freeze in an interview means that the documents no longer need to be sealed.
Yeezy is currently arguing with Adidas over whether the asset freeze should remain in place going forward. His lawyers argue that Adidas has not provided sufficient evidence to warrant it being granted an asset freeze in the first place. Meanwhile, Adidas lawyers argue that Yeezy will immediately spend the funds to “misuse Adidas’ property and void an arbitration award made against them.”