Kanye West has reportedly hired Johnny Depp’s defamation trial attorney Camille Vasquez to represent his business interests amid his brewing public-image and business crises.
The rapper-entrepreneur, who legally changed his name to Ye a year ago, is said to have retained national law firm Brown Rudnick to represent him as his contracts and deals evaporate following his spate of antisemitic remarks and false claims about the death of George Floyd, whose family is suing the rapper for harassment, misappropriation and defamation.
Vasquez is said to be among the group of attorneys at the firm that he hired, TMZ reported Friday.
Representatives for Ye, Vasquez and Brown Rudnick did not immediately respond Friday to The Times’ requests for confirmation.
Vasquez is a partner at Brown Rudnick’s Irvine-based operation and became an international celebrity during last spring’s bombshell defamation trial between Depp and his ex-wife Amber Heard. Vasquez became a star among Depp supporters on social media and a sought-after talent in the business realm.
TMZ reported that the firm will not be representing the rapper during his protracted divorce proceedings with reality star Kim Kardashian. For that task, Ye recently hired Robert Stephan Cohen of New York’s Cohen Clair Lans Greifer Thorpe & Rottenstreich LLP, who represented Melinda Gates in her split from Microsoft co-founder Bill Gates.
The Vasquez hiring report comes the same day fashion house Balenciaga, which has long collaborated with the performer and had him walk in its recent Paris Fashion Week show, announced that it had cut ties with Ye.
“Balenciaga has no longer any relationship nor any plans for future projects related to this artist,” the brand’s parent firm Kering said in a brief statement Friday.
Global brands have been distancing themselves from the Grammy winner for months following his unrelenting outbursts on social media, which eventually led to his ban from Instagram and Twitter (and a move to buy right-wing platform Parler).
Past collaborators including Adidas and apparel giant Gap Inc. have also been on the receiving end of West’s tirades, along with Kardashian, her family, her ex-boyfriend Pete Davidson and “The Daily Show” host Trevor Noah.
In recent weeks, the “Yeezus” rapper ignited a firestorm during Paris Fashion Week when he posed next to conservative political commentator Candace Owens, both wearing “White Lives Matter” T-shirts. After facing wide criticism, he posted that he was about to “Go death con 3 on JEWISH PEOPLE,” which prompted Instagram and later Twitter to pull the plug on his accounts.
He then went on Tucker Carlson’s Fox News show and in unaired footage said that someone had planted “fake children” in his home “to sexualize my kids.” In footage that did air, he accused Jared Kushner, who is Jewish, of working on the Abraham Accords (between Middle Eastern nations and Israel) “to make money.”
And last year, following the release of “Donda,” Ye ended his deal with longtime record label Def Jam as well.
On Monday, Parler announced that it had entered into an agreement to sell the social-media company to West. (Parler, whose chief executive, George Farmer, is married to Owens, was temporarily de-platformed from Google‘s and Apple’s app stores in January 2021 following the riot at the U.S. Capitol; it has since been restored on both.)
Times staff writers August Brown and Anousha Sakoui contributed to this report.
This story originally Appeared on LATimes