George Floyd's family sue Kanye West for £221m over 'malicious' remarks

Kanye West is being sued by George Floyd's family. Credit: PA

The family of George Floyd are suing Kanye West for $250 million (£221 million) over remarks the rapper made about Mr Floyd's death during a podcast recording.

During an appearance on US podcast Drink Champs, West claimed Mr Floyd was killed by an opioid overdose, contradicting the coroner's evidence.

A cease and desist letter issued by lawyers representing the family said West's comments were a “repugnant attempt to discount George Floyd’s life and to profit from his inhumane death”.

Mr Floyd died in 2020 after police officer Derek Chauvin knelt on his neck for nine minutes in Minneapolis, Minnesota.

The unarmed black men's final minutes were recorded in bystander footage which was shared around the world online.

His death sparked global protests, led by the Black Lives Matter movement.

Chauvin was convicted of murder and manslaughter and given a 22-and-a-half-year jail sentence in 2021.

“During the podcast interview, Kanye West stated malicious falsehoods about George Floyd to profit from Mr Floyd’s horrendous death and his family’s trauma," a statement shared with the PA news agency said.

Lawyer Pat D Dixon III added: “Kanye’s comments are a repugnant attempt to discount George Floyd’s life and to profit from his inhumane death.

George Floyd was murdered in 2020.

“We will hold Mr West accountable for his flagrant remarks against Mr Floyd’s legacy.”

The mother of Mr Floyd’s daughter, Roxie Washington, plans to file the multimillion-dollar lawsuit on the grounds of “harassment, misappropriation, defamation, and infliction of emotional distress,” the statement said.

“The interests of the child are priority,” attorney Nuru Witherspoon said in the statement.

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“George Floyd’s daughter is being retraumatised by Kanye West’s comments and he’s creating an unsafe and unhealthy environment for her.”

It comes after West sparked further controversy after appearing at an event at the Paris Fashion Week wearing a T-shirt that read “White Lives Matter”.

West’s representatives have been approached for comment.