Ye Accused of Threatening To Lock Donda Academy Students "In Cages" and Punch Staff in New Lawsuit

The new lawsuit is far from the first to center on allegations related to Donda Academy, a private facility in California.

Music artist on stage with arms outstretched amid stage smoke, performing in a dark venue
Image via Getty/Wally Skalij/Los Angeles Times
Music artist on stage with arms outstretched amid stage smoke, performing in a dark venue

Ye is facing more allegations related to his private school Donda Academy, including a claim that he was once overheard telling students "they could be locked in cages."

Per multiple reports on Tuesday, including this one from the Los Angeles Times, the suit stems from Trevor Phillips, described as a former employee of Ye’s through his Yeezy and Donda Academy ventures. Phillips first started working for Yeezy in 2022 but was ultimately relegated to Donda Academy-related duties. In fact, it’s said that Phillips had a child enrolled at the facility, as well as his younger brother.

Phillips is asking for damages of more than $35,000 due to what he alleges constituted discrimination, retaliation, wrongful termination, labor code violations, and more. At one point, Phillips alleges, he heard Ye telling students that he “wanted them to shave their heads.” Furthermore, Ye is alleged to have said that he “intended to put a jail at the school.”

The 47-page complaint also includes allegations related to anti-Semitic comments Ye is accused of making in front of students. Here's how it's worded in the related legal docs, viewed by Complex on Tuesday:

"Phillips, on several occasions, witnessed [Ye] preach to his staff obscenities such as 'the Jews are out to get me' and 'the Jews are stealing all my money.' Fearing for their jobs and also to de-escalate [Ye's] absurdities (so that the two present school children did not hear), the school staff did their best to ignore him.

This allegedly didn't work, however, leading to the aforementioned "cages" remark. Again, here's how it's worded in the docs:

"[Ye] started to openly discuss how he only likes to date white women. Then addressing the two school children, Kanye told them that he wanted them to shave their heads and that he intended to put a jail at the school – and that they could be locked in cages. The staff quickly distracted the children, and escorted them out of the room."

Elsewhere, Ye is accused of Holocaust denial, Hitler praise, a threat to "punch" Phillips, and more.

Kanye West is being sued by a former Donda Academy employee claiming workplace abuse

The lawsuit, filed by Trevor Phillips, details a variety of situations involving Ye:

▫️ Ye allegedly wanted to introduce a jail at the school so kids could be locked in cages

▫️ Phillips says…

— Kurrco (@Kurrco) April 2, 2024
Twitter: @Kurrco

“By filing this lawsuit, we hope our injured clients’ rights are vindicated, and that the famous artist Mr. West understands that his messages—which we alleged preach discrimination, antisemitism, and Hitler-love—have no place in the world," Carney R. Shegerian, the lead attorney on Phillips' case, said in an email to Complex on Tuesday.

Complex has also reached out to Donda Academy for comment. This story may be updated.

As fans will note, this isn't the first instance of legal action being taken in connection with Ye's Donda Academy. In July, for example, the alleged conditions of the school were again in headlines due to a lawsuit from another ex-employee.

Previously, Ye was revealed to have been seeking dismissal from prior lawsuits about the school.

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