Kanye West‘s former business manager has accused him of defaulting on an 18-month contract, which carried a $300,000 monthly retainer.
In a new lawsuit filed against Ye and several of his businesses, Thomas St. John claims their professional relationship began in March of this year, when he was approached to work with West as his business manager and accountant.
According to The Blast, St. John claims that by the end of March, Kanye West was introducing him to his associates as his business manager, and by April 12, he was being referred to as the CFO of Donda. By that point, Thomas St. John had begun creating a strategy for Ye’s finances and had received a letter authorizing his company, TSJ, to receive all of Ye’s financial records.
As the relationship began to formally take shape, St. John demanded that Kanye West secure his services with a two-year contract, especially as TSJ would be forced to turn down other clients in order to focus on this project.
“In addition to the economic costs and risks associated with committing to Defendants as clients, Plaintiff also needed assurance that Defendants would not simply walk away from the business relationship,” the lawsuit reads. “Mr. St. John, however, proposed to compromise on an agreement with a minimum term of 18 months.”
Kanye West eventually agreed, and a contract is said to have been drawn up officially retaining Thomas St. John as Ye’s CFO and “most senior financial advisor,” in exchange for a $300,000 monthly retainer. Weeks later, however, West seemingly changed his mind and called a meeting to end the agreement.
“At this meeting, Mr. West became heated and aggressive,” the lawsuit claims. “He screamed at Mr. St. John and made clear he no longer wanted to work with [him]. 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 bullshit,’ and ‘You’re insane for even thinking I would stick to it.”
Thomas St. John is now seeking $4.5 million in damages, which includes payments for the months of July, August and September, as well as retainers for the remaining term of the defaulted agreement, which was set to end in November 2023.
“As of the filing of this Complaint, Defendants breached the agreement by failing and refusing, despite Plaintiff’s demand, to pay the minimum $300,000 monthly payments for July, August, and September 2022, despite timely receiving invoices. And it is clear based on their statements and conduct that Defendants do not intend to make any further monthly payments,” St. John claims in the suit.
The claims arrive at the end of a tumultuous week, which saw the dissolution of Kanye West’s deal with adidas, resulting in the embattled rapper’s net worth plunging from $1.9 billion to $400 million. His Donda Sports agency also lost NFL player Aaron Donald and NBA star Jaylen Brown as clients.
After being hit with a $250 million lawsuit from the family of George Floyd and doubling down on anti-Semitic comments made across social media and in several controversial interviews, Kanye West issued an apology to the Jewish community during an equally charged chat with Piers Morgan Uncensored.
On Friday (October 28), Ye also walked back his statements about the manner in which Floyd was killed.
“When I see that video as a Black person, it hurts my feelings,” West said while surrounded by paparazzi. “And I know that police do attack [sic] and that America is generally racist. And I understand that when we got to say Black Lives Matter, the idea of it made us feel good together as a people. Now, afterwards there was some things where the money went in order to push us to the Democratic vote.”
“So when I questioned the death of George Floyd, it hurt my people,” he continued. “I want to apologize. Because God has showed me by what adidas is doing, by what the media is doing, I know what it feels to have a knee on my neck right now.
“So thank you God for humbling me and letting me know how it really felt,” Kanye West added. “Because how could the richest Black men ever be humbled other than to be made to not be a billionaire in front of everyone off a comment.”