Ye Allegedly Threatened to Put Donda Academy Students in Cages

Celebrity Sightings In Los Angeles - March 21, 2024
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Kanye West, who now goes by Ye, has been hit with yet another lawsuit stemming from his now-defunct school, Donda Academy. Ye and the school have already been sued twice — first in April 2023 when two former employees sued for wrongful termination and racial discrimination. (A third teacher joined their suit in June, and a trial is scheduled for April 2025.) Then, in July, a former assistant principal filed a new lawsuit, claiming he was fired after voicing concern about safety issues like mold, power outages, an overflowing septic tank, and an electrical fire. All of the filings have alleged bizarre details about the chaos unfolding at Donda, from students eating sushi with their hands on the floor to widespread racial discrimination. Now, a third suit filed in Los Angeles paints an even more concerning picture.

Trevor Phillips, a former employee of Ye’s who claims to have worked at both his fashion brand, Yeezy, and Donda Academy, filed a lawsuit on Tuesday seeking damages for discrimination, retaliation, and wrongful termination, among other claims. Phillips’s suit, which was obtained by the Cut, names Ye, Yeezy, and Donda Academy and claims that he was first hired in November 2022 and placed on a team that oversaw growing cotton and other plants for Yeezy’s clothing materials. After weeks of delayed paychecks, Phillips says he started receiving wires from Donda Academy and was asked to do agriculture-related tasks for the school. According to the suit, Phillips’s child and younger brother were enrolled at the school, and at one point his mother was also employed by Donda Academy.

Phillips claims in his lawsuit that during his time working for Ye, he witnessed the musician continue to spew antisemitic rhetoric, sometimes in front of young students at the school, which was grades K through 12. At one point, he allegedly saw Ye tell two students he wanted to shave their heads and build a jail at the school to lock them in cages. In other instances, Ye allegedly told staffers he only likes to date white women, proclaimed that none of his employees could be fat, and boasted about spending $2 million of the school’s budget on a solo trip to Paris. Phillips also says Ye “treated the Black staff considerably worse than white employees,” frequently berated Black men who taught at the school, and once told a Black security guard he would be fired if he didn’t shave his dreads. In screenshots of a text conversation included in the suit, Ye appears to have told Phillips that he was “on some complete Hitler level stuff … Minus the gas chambers.”

Phillips’s filing also details an incident in December when Phillips claims Ye asked him to meet him at the Nobu Hotel in Malibu and went on an antisemitic rant before miming masturbation. He then allegedly told Phillips that “gay people are controlled by Bill Gates so that they don’t have children for population control.” Six months later, in May 2023, he claims Ye berated him during a Sunday service over an alleged issue with the garden and told him he was fired, yelling multiple times that he “was going to punch you in the face.” After pleas from the school’s principal to stay on board, Phillips says he continued to work at Donda Academy until August, when it was shut down.

The Cut has attempted to contact Ye’s legal representation for comment and will update this post if we hear back.

Ye Allegedly Threatened to Put Donda Students in Cages