Kanye’s Former Accountant Sues For $4.5M in Unpaid Fees
A celebrity accountant is suing Kanye West for $4.5 million in allegedly unpaid fees, claiming the embattled artist and entrepreneur abruptly fired him just weeks after hiring him and told him he was “insane” if he thought he would stick to their agreement.
In a lawsuit filed Oct. 21, Thomas St. John claims he was hired in May by Yeezy LLC to serve as its chief financial officer for an 18-month contract with a $300,000 per month fee. He says he demanded those guarantees because of the “risks” of working with West and to assure the star “would not simply walk away.”
But St. John claims that West then did exactly that. At a June meeting at the pricey Malibu restaurant Nobu Ryokan, the accountant claims West “became heated and aggressive” and then abruptly terminated his new CFO.
“He screamed at Mr. St. John and made clear he no longer wanted to work with Plaintiff,” St. John’s lawyers wrote. “When confronted by the 18-month commitment that had just been made, Mr. West stated words to the effect of ‘the 18 month term was bullsh–’ and ‘you’re insane for even thinking I would stick to it.’”
If the new lawsuit is any indication, it looks like St. John plans to stick to it. He says West has made just three of the 18 payments he owes — and is demanding that a court order him to pay the $4.5 million owed on the deal.
Even though it involves millions of dollars, St. John’s new lawsuit might barely even register on the list of problems currently facing the once-beloved rapper.
After a string of antisemitic statements earlier this month, West has lost nearly every aspect of his once-formidable business empire. His representatives at CAA have dropped him, and his signature fashion partnerships with Adidas, The Gap and Balenciaga have all been terminated. It’s hard to know if he’ll even have lawyers to rep him in the current case, since many of his attorneys have begun to cut ties as well.
Even before the current whirlwind, West was already being accused of stiffing business partners. In early July, the high-end fashion rental service David Casavant Archive said West never returned more than a dozen “esteemed” items and owed $400,000 in late fees. A few weeks later, the production company Phantom Labs said the star owed $7.1 million for work done on his cancelled Coachella and other events.
A spokesperson for West could not be located to comment on the new lawsuit. Multiple former press representatives for West have recently told Billboard that they no longer work with him.