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Post: Kanye West wanted to jail Donda Academy students, shave their heads: lawsuit – National



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Ye, the rapper formerly known as Kanye West, has been sued by an ex-employee who accused the musician of threatening to build a jail for students at his Christian private school, where Ye allegedly said he would shave children’s heads and lock them in cages.

The lawsuit, filed by ex-employee Trevor Phillips in the Los Angeles County Superior Court on Tuesday, has accused Ye of discrimination, creating a hostile work environment, employee retaliation and unsafe working conditions.

Among a litany of scandalous allegations, Phillips also accused Ye of making numerous racist, antisemitic and homophobic remarks in the workplace, either at Donda Academy or at his fashion brand, Yeezy.

Ye and spokespersons for Donda Academy and Yeezy, which have also been sued, have not commented publicly about the allegations.

Phillips is seeking US$35,000 (about C$47,335) in damages.

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According to the lawsuit, obtained by the New York Times, Phillips was hired in November 2022 to oversee a cotton-growing initiative at Yeezy to make the brand “self-sustainable.” He was later moved to work at Donda Academy, Ye’s controversial private school located in Southern California.

While employed at the unaccredited school, Phillips said Ye told two unnamed students that “he wanted them to shave their heads and that he intended to put a jail at the school — and that they could be locked in cages.”

Phillips’ lawsuit says staff members escorted the children away from Ye.

The ex-employee claimed Donda Academy staff members were also asked to perform dangerous electrical and renovation work on school grounds without permits or experience.

Around the time of Phillips’ initial hiring in 2022, Ye was already garnering a reputation as a public antisemite and subsequently lost several large brand partnerships and opportunities.

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In his lawsuit, Phillips alleges Ye’s shocking rants were not exclusive to public interviews and social media.

Phillips claimed Ye made a number of antisemitic comments during meetings with Donda Academy employees, including “the Jews are out to get me” and “the Jews are stealing all my money.”

When Adidas pulled out from its profitable partnership with Ye in 2022, Phillips said Ye told him, “the Jews are working with Adidas to freeze up my money to try and make me broke!”

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During an alleged separate conversation with employees at the Nobu Hotel in Malibu, Calif., Phillips said Ye called the holocaust “fake.” He reportedly also called Adolf Hitler “great” and heralded the dictator of Nazi Germany as an “innovator” who “invented so many things.”

In the same meeting from the Nobu Hotel, Ye allegedly expressed outrage toward 2SLGBTQIA+people. According to the lawsuit, Ye told his employees he would be “going for the gays! FIRST the Jews, THEN the gays.”

Ye allegedly told his employees that gay people “are not true Christians” and that they are subdued by “Bill Gates so that they don’t have children for population control.”

The lawsuit continues, claiming that on a separate occasion, Ye texted Phillips to say, “I am on some complete Hitler level stuff.” Ye added, “Minus the gas chambers.”

Phillips also alleges Ye treated Black employees at Donda Academy “considerably worse” than white employees.

According to the lawsuit, when Phillips’ pushed back on Ye’s “bigotry and instructions to violate the law,” Phillips was met with “incessant harassment, humiliation, and attempts to both mentally control and destroy Phillips,” as well as threats of physical violence from Ye.

Phillips said he was often hired and fired by Ye at random.

In December, ahead of the release of his collaborative album Vultures 1 with Ty Dolla Sign, Ye posted a public apology to “the Jewish community” on social media.

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“It was not my intention to hurt or demean, and I deeply regret any pain I may have caused,” Ye wrote in Hebrew. “I am committed to starting with myself and learning from this experience to ensure greater sensitivity and understanding in the future. Your forgiveness is important to me, and I am committed to making amends and promoting unity.”

The apology post has since been deleted from Ye’s social media account.

Vultures 1, released Feb. 10, became Ye’s 11th No. 1 album.

In October 2022, Donda Academy reportedly notified parents of students about the school’s immediate closure.

Ye established the school — named after his late mother, Donda West — in August 2021 in Simi Valley, Calif., for students in kindergarten through to Grade 12. The Donda Academy website, which is no longer active, claimed students learned educational fundamentals and Christian teachings. Daily lessons included full school worship, language arts, math and science, and enrichment courses including world language, visual art, film, choir and even parkour.

The operating status of Donda Academy is currently unclear, though the lawsuit claims Phillips left his job at Donda Academy in August when the school shut down.

Two former teachers at Donda Academy have already sued Ye over claims of wrongful termination. Like Phillips’ lawsuit, the 2023 filing makes several strange claims about the school, including a student lunch menu that featured only sushi.

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Click to play video: 'Holocaust survivor calls for more education to combat rising antisemitism'

Holocaust survivor calls for more education to combat rising antisemitism

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Lora Helmin

Lora Helmin

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