Kanye West is currently facing two class-action lawsuits alleging mistreatment of performers and staff of his extravagant Sunday Service shows pay, according to reports.
Filed last summer in Los Angeles, the lawsuits are reportedly divided between performers and crew; Frank Kim is repping more 500 performers, while attorneys Harris & Ruble are concentrating on the approximately 300 crew members.
Some of the stories from the lawsuit, reported by the UK Sun, are shocking if by now sadly predictable tales from the gig economy: A hairstylist named Raina Leon claimed she had to wait 120 days for a $550 paycheck from work done in November 2019, which was then less a $20 wire fee deducted by West’s company.
Michael Pearson, a performer, alleged he was paid a flat day rate of $250, and regardless of his hours, was not permitted a meal or restroom breaks, and also alleges that performers stood all day or sat on the floor — because not enough chairs had been sourced — and walked home when a shuttle wasn’t provided for them.
The suits also pertain to West’s “opera,” the “Nebuchadnezzar,” performed at the Hollywood Bowl in November 2019, which allegedly violated California labor laws by not paying employees on time — or ever — and denying overtime, meal and bathroom breaks.
Sources told the Sun that lawyers are tracking down further members of the Sunday Service series and believe the final number of plaintiffs could reach closer to 1,000 people.
“No one knows how involved Kanye himself was, if he knew what was going on, as it was all so last minute, it was terribly ran. Whether it was mismanagement, accidental, or on purpose, this is a very strong case,” the source told the outlet.
The Los Angeles County Superior Court has joined the lawsuits together and the Sun’s sources estimate Kanye’s payout could be as high as $30 million should he choose to fight, after settling with the plaintiffs and paying his legal bills.
Meanwhile, the Daily Mail reports that West, 43, is still dealing with another Sunday Service-related lawsuit, this one from MyChannel Inc., which alleges that its employees were stiffed for six months of work on Sunday Service-related technology. The suit, filed in August 2020, claims that West’s lack of payment is tantamount to theft of the tech.
We suppose this means that West’s September claim of spending $50 million on Sunday Services in 2019 will have to undergo an audit.
And of course, all of this comes as West is preparing for his divorce from Kim Kardashian. Earlier this week, he returned to LA from Wyoming.
“He understands Kim’s side has to spin that she is sick of him. In reality, he’s been sick of being involved with [the] Kardashians for a long while,” an insider shared. “Especially her mother [Kris Jenner], who looms large in all big decisions she makes.”
West and Kardashian are the parents of four children: 7-year-old daughter North, 5-year-old son Saint, 3-year-old daughter Chicago and 1-year-old son Psalm.