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Rapper Ye stalked assistant and sexually harassed her, lawsuit claims

A woman who worked for Ye’s fashion brand claims in a lawsuit that he sexually harassed her, stalked her, forced her to watch him masturbate and failed to pay her millions of dollars in severance.

Lauren Pisciotta, who says she worked at the Yeezy brand from July 2021 to October 2022, is also suing multiple arms of the company for breach of contract, fraud and unpaid wages, claiming that Ye reneged on a $3 million severance package after she left the company, plus an additional $1 million that he allegedly promised her for deleting her account on OnlyFans.

Much of the alleged harassment took place before Ye made antisemitic comments in public in late 2022, which led to brands such as Adidas abruptly cutting ties with the world-renowned rapper, formerly known as Kanye West.

Ye’s publicist Sasha Brookner sent The Washington Post a long statement denying the claims, which she attributed to a “legal representative” she declined to name. “In response to these baseless allegations, Ye will be filing a lawsuit against Ms. Pisciotta, who actively pursued him sexually to coerce employment and other material benefits, then engaged in blackmail and extortion when her advances were rejected,” the statement said.

Pisciotta’s attorney did not respond to a request for comment.

In the lawsuit, filed Monday in a Los Angeles court, Pisciotta said that around July 2021, she was hired to be a 24-hour on-call assistant to Ye and Yeezy brands for a $1 million annual salary. At the time, the suit said, Pisciotta had a social media presence on Instagram and made money on OnlyFans, a website commonly used for amateur pornography and modeling. Pisciotta said she previously worked with Ye for three tracks on his 2021 album, “Donda,” and on Yeezy’s women’s fashion line.

In August 2022, Pisciotta alleged, Ye offered her $1 million to delete her OnlyFans account and asked her to be “God like.” She agreed to do so, but was never paid the extra money, the lawsuit said.

After deleting the account, according to the suit, Pisciotta started getting expletive-filled text messages, videos and images from Ye. In these messages, he discussed his sexual desires and talked about masturbation. She also alleged in the suit that Ye locked her in a room alone with him on a flight to Paris and masturbated under the covers while she sat across from him in a chair.

“Defendant would often tell plaintiff that he always wanted to have sex with her, and that he held these feelings for a very long time,” the complaint reads. “Defendant also falsely boasted that he had sex with plaintiff or would insinuate to his friends, business partners and music and fashion collaborators that he was having sex with plaintiff.” Pisciotta said in the suit that she never had sex with Ye, nor wanted to. Ye’s representatives, however, claim that Pisciotta sent her boss unsolicited nude photos and offered to have sex with him on his birthday, an offer Ye declined.

In September 2022, Pisciotta said, she was promoted to chief of staff for several of Yeezy’s business arms, with an additional $3 million added to her annual salary. But she was allegedly never paid. About a month later, in October, she was terminated from Yeezy and offered a $3 million severance package, the lawsuit said. She accepted the offer, but she said she was never paid, according to the lawsuit.

Ye’s “obsession, fixation and stalking” of Pisciotta allegedly continued after the termination, the lawsuit said. The “Carnival” singer allegedly moved into the same building as Pisciotta, where the rapper’s “unprofessional and harassing conduct” continued, according to the complaint.

The statement sent by Ye’s publicist offered a starkly different version of events, claiming that Pisciotta was fired for incompetence, for demanding a $4 million annual salary, and for “numerous documented incidents of her lascivious, unhinged conduct.” The statement claims that she stole Ye’s phone before her termination in a failed attempt to destroy evidence of her behavior.

This isn’t the first time Ye has faced discontent from employees. Multiple staffers for Yeezy accused the rapper of showing them pornographic material and sexual content, according to a November 2022 report from Rolling Stone. Adidas launched an investigation into complaints from employees about Ye’s actions toward them given that he and Adidas had a business partnership together. (Adidas had severed ties to Ye and Yeezy in October 2022, after he made antisemitic remarks. Several other companies, such as Balenciaga and JPMorgan Chase, did the same.)

More recently, right-wing commentator Milo Yiannopoulos, who previously served as chief of staff for Yeezy, left the company after the two reportedly clashed over “Yeezy Porn” — which was apparently an adult film company that Ye hoped to launch. Ye has previously claimed to have a pornography addiction, which he said was detrimental to his family.

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