Lawyers representing Roxie Washington, the mother of George Floyd’s daughter, have drafted a cease-and-desist letter to Ye, formerly known as Kanye West, over comments he made claiming Floyd was killed by a fentanyl overdose.
On the podcast “Drink Champs,” West claimed George Floyd was killed by a fentanyl overdose, despite a medical examiner’s testimony that fentanyl not the direct cause of Floyd’s death, only a contributing factor when he died after being knelt on by a police officer.
Attorneys at Witherspoon Law Group told CNN the comments were especially damaging to Gianna Floyd, George Floyd’s daughter.
“She’s a little girl that’s been traumatized and is being re-traumatized by Kanye West,” attorney Kay Harper Williams said of George Floyd’s daughter. It’s “intentional infliction of emotional distress,” she added.
When CNN sat with then-6-year-old Gianna Floyd in June 2020 she didn’t say a word during the interview.
The attorneys have indicated they intend to also file a lawsuit “for harassment, misappropriation, defamation, and infliction of emotional distress.”
CNN has reached out to a representative of Ye for comment.
As of Tuesday, the episode of “Drink Champs” appeared to have been removed from YouTube and Revolt TV. However, “it still exists, that does not remove it from the universe,” said Williams.
“Too little too late, the harm has been done to our client,” she added.
A cease-and-desist letter, provided to CNN, was addressed to an attorney they believed was representing Ye, however, they told CNN they were informed this attorney was not actually affiliated with Ye in this matter. They’re actively trying to make sure it’s received, though they added there will be more pressure once the lawsuit is formally filed.
Regarding a separate legal effort being explored by attorney Lee Merritt, who has represented the Floyd family on matters in the past, Williams told CNN the two legal have not been coordinating efforts up to this point.
Merritt told CNN on Monday that Floyd’s brother contacted him to pursue a defamation suit against the star.
While that’s not legally possible because George Floyd is deceased, Merritt said, there are other legal avenues to pursue, including the Floyd family possibly suing for intentional infliction of emotional distress.
“I have put together a working team to investigate [Ye’s] statements and to investigate the source of those statements,” Merritt said.
CNN has reached out to Merritt for comment on the cease-and-desist letter.
“George Floyd, just like Gianna said, changed the world so to have Kanye West come back and speak in a way that’s harmful to that legacy,” Williams said, “I’m offended as a human, as a black woman, as a mother.”
“Gianna is a child and she’s being harmed,” she added.
“There’s a really important discussion right now around the country about speech,” said Witherspoon. “But at the end of the day you cannot say these things that are false.”
CNN’s Sandra Gonzalez contributed to this report.