Travis Scott is facing more potential legal backlash.
As the Associated Press reports, lawyers representing some of the victims who were hurt and killed at Scott’s Astroworld Festival in November are accusing him of violating a gag order in relation to their lawsuits. After Scott announced his Project HEAL initiative this month and donated $5 million to get it rolling, attorneys are claiming this may help his reputation and influence possible jurors before trials kick off.
Bob Hilliard, one of the lawyers representing the family of 9-year-old Astroworld Fest victim Ezra Blount, told State District Judge Kristen Hawkins that Scott openly discussing concert safety “did affect and dent the power of your order.” Hawkins—who is overseeing the roughly 500 lawsuits—previously asked for those involved not to make their cases in public in an effort to avoid swaying a potential jury.
“My team and I created Project HEAL to take much needed action towards supporting real solutions that make all events the safest spaces they can possibly be,” Scott wrote of his project upon its reveal. “I will always honor the victims of the Astroworld tragedy who remain in my heart forever.”
Scott’s lawyer Stephen Brody said the initiative’s announcement was not in violation of a gag order, but rather another in a line of charitable moves that have “been a constant in his life.” Not allowing him to speak on the effort would be a violation of his freedom of expression, the lawyer argues.
Attorneys in the case were hoping to agree on a modified gag order that would address concerns about reporters being able to sufficiently report about the case. “I look forward to seeing what proposals you come up with,” Hawkins said, per the AP.
Ten attendees died due to the festival’s crowd-crush, ranging from age 9 to 27, and 300 were injured. Previously, Blount’s father Treston and his mother reportedly asked the judge to either amend the gag order so everybody involved in the suits (not just lawyers) are barred from making public comment, or to remove it entirely. Scott’s legal team responded by sharing that they believed Blount’s lawyer violated the order by “publicly disparaging” Scott.
“Hilliard’s bogus allegations fly in the face of logic,” said Scott spokesperson Stephanie Rawlings-Blake. “Travis’s support of charitable causes has been ongoing for years to help underprivileged young people graduate without debt, explore creative fields, and overcome mental health challenges.”