George Floyd's family files $250M defamation lawsuit against Kanye West for fentanyl overdose remarks

George Floyd's family files $250M defamation lawsuit against Kanye West for fentanyl overdose remarks
George Floyd's family has sued Kanye West for $250 million (Instagram/@giannapinksmommy, Ronald Martinez/Getty Images)

MINNEAPOLIS, MINNESOTA: A lawsuit has been filed against Kanye West in reaction to his assertion that George Floyd passed away from a fentanyl overdose. Roxie Washington, the former partner of Floyd and mother of his child, has chosen to sue West for $250 million in defamation.

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Washington plans to file a lawsuit on behalf of Gianna Floyd, her and Floyd's underage daughter, alleging that West made the comments "to promote his brands, and increase marketing value and revenue for himself, his business partners and associates," as reported by the New York Post. On Tuesday, October 18, the Witherspoon Law Group and Dixon & Dixon Attorneys at Law, the family's legal representatives, issued the statement announcing the lawsuit. 

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The 45-year-old rapper spoke at length about a number of sensitive subjects, including Floyd's death, in a recent 'Drink Champs' episode that was aired on October 16, Sunday. Ye asserted that Floyd died from fentanyl and that a police officer's knee "was not even on his neck like that."

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Floyd, 46, lost his life on May 25, 2020, while being arrested by Minnesota police and the incident was recorded on camera. The video showed Derek Chauvin, the officer who was eventually fired and then found guilty of murder, kneeling on Floyd's neck.

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Chauvin had previously claimed that Floyd's death was caused by narcotics that were discovered in his system. However, an autopsy found that Floyd's death was due to a lack of oxygen and compression of his neck.


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Chauvin also admitted guilt to violating Floyd's federally protected right against unreasonable force by a police officer. "As Mr. Floyd lay on the ground, handcuffed and unresisting, the defendant kept his knees on Floyd's neck and body, even after Mr. Floyd became unresponsive. This offense resulted in bodily injury to, and the death of George Floyd," he admitted guilt in the case, and part of his plea deal read.

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West received a cease-and-desist letter from the attorneys on October 18, Tuesday, claiming that he had "maliciously made statements that are inaccurate and unfounded, causing damage to Mr. Floyd's estate and family." The letter also ordered that West stop talking about Floyd's passing and that the interview be removed from the internet altogether.

A statue of George Floyd is unveiled at Flatbush Junction on June 19, 2021, in the Brooklyn borough of New York City. Mr. Floyds murder, at the hands of Minneapolis police officer Derek Chauvin, last year fueled a global movement for racial justice. The unveiling of the statue happened just days after Juneteenth was declared a federal holiday.
A statue of George Floyd is unveiled at Flatbush Junction on June 19, 2021, in the Brooklyn borough of New York City (David Dee Delgado/Getty Images)

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The letter reads, "We will take all appropriate and necessary legal action if you, your attorneys, employees, agents, partners, associates, and representatives fail to comply with this demand." Even though the complete interview has been removed, West's remarks are still being shared and seen all over the world, according to the press release. "George Floyd's daughter is being re-traumatized by Kanye West's comments and he's creating an unsafe and unhealthy environment for her," Nuru Witherspoon claimed in the statement.

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