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Kanye West Wanted to Put a Jail in Donda School, Ex-Employee Alleges in Shocking Lawsuit

A former Yeezy and Donda Academy employee has filed a lawsuit against Kanye West alleging a hostile workplace and intentional infliction of emotional distress.

According to court documents obtained by Us Weekly on Tuesday, April 2, Trevor Phillips says he suffered severe discrimination, harassment and retaliation directly by West, 46, — who now goes by Ye — after he was hired in November 2022 for a position at Yeezy.

When his work for West quickly expanded beyond his fashion line and into his private school called Donda Academy, Phillips saw it as an opportunity.

“Kanye represented the possibilities of what a Black man could accomplish in America: achievement, recognition and financial freedom — truly, the American Dream,” Phillips’ attorneys stated in court documents. “With this in mind, Phillips passionately dove into his work.”

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During his nine-month employment, however, Phillips said he began to witness West’s “dangerous rhetoric” and mistreatment towards some employees.

“It was immediately apparent to him, and others, that Kanye treated the Black staff considerably worse than white employees,” Phillips’ attorneys alleged in court documents. “Even when class was in session, Kanye would scream and berate Black employees, while never even as much raising his tone at the white staff. Often, Kanye targeted Phillips — a Black man — not just with this disparate and harassing behavior, but complete and utter disdain.”

The lawsuit also claims West openly discussed in front of two school children how he only likes to date white women. He later told the students 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, according to court documents.

Kanye West Allegedly Wanted Jail in Donda School Says Ex Employee
Kanye West. Arnold Jerocki/Getty Images

West’s four children — North, 10, Saint, 8, Chicago, 6, and Psalm, 4, — with ex-wife Kim Kardashian did not attend Donda Academy.

In the lawsuit, Phillips alleged that he witnessed several occasions where West would tout his “discriminatory conspiracy of Jews” during meetings at Donda Academy.

During a separate December 2022 meeting away from school grounds, Phillips said he started feeling uncomfortable as West allegedly went on a rant about Hitler’s greatness.

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Phillips said his relationship with West continued to struggle in May 2023 when the rapper allegedly threw a “temper tantrum” and threatened to punch him.

West was unhappy with a garden Phillips was tending to and began screaming in front of a crowd for his employee to “get the f–k out of here” and that he was “f–ing fired,” per the documents.

Kanye West Allegedly Wanted Jail in Donda School Says Ex Employee
Kanye West. Bellocqimages/Bauer-Griffin/GC Images

Phillips said he worked his last day at Donda Academy in August 2023 after West shut down the school as part of a plan to rebrand and reopen it.

Us Weekly has reached out to West’s rep for comment on the suit.

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In a statement to Us, Phillips’ lawyer Carney R. Shegerian explained why his client wanted to file a lawsuit at this time.

“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,” Shegerian said.

Phillips is seeking at least $35,000 for what he labels as whistleblower retaliation, discrimination based on race, a hostile workplace and other causes of action.

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