Kanye West is facing two class-action lawsuits over his Sunday Service series.
According to The Sun, the suits were filed last summer in Los Angeles and involve around 800 performers and backstage crew who claim they were mistreated or not paid.
Some of the plaintiffs include a hairstylist named Raina Leon who alleged she had to wait four months to receive her $550 paycheck (minus a $20 wire fee), while performer Michael Pearson claimed he was paid a flat $250 day rate “regardless of the number of hours worked,” was not permitted a meal or restroom breaks, and was “forced to stand or sit on the ground” before walking home when a shuttle wasn’t provided.
The suits also pertain to the production of Kanye’s first “opera,” Nebuchadnezzar, at the Hollywood Bowl in November 2019. The performance allegedly violated California labor laws by not paying employees on time or ever and denying overtime, meal, and bathroom breaks.
Lawyers are now tracking down other members of Kanye’s Sunday Service shows, and believe that the final tally will be closer to 1,000 people.
“They’ve got hundreds of people on board already, but they’re talking to many, many others, who want to be a part of it. People are very upset how they were treated, saying it’s their worst experience,” a legal source told The Sun. “Now it’s about proving that Kanye is the employer and the buck stops with him. Now that there’s others coming forward, then the complaint will be amended and be bigger in scope.”
A source added, “No one knows how involved Kanye himself was, if he knew what was going on, as it was all so last minute, it was terribly ran. Whether it was mismanagement, accidental, or on purpose, this is a very strong case.”
Kanye, who once claimed that he spent $50 million on his popular Sunday Service performances, could end up paying $1 million for each lawsuit if he settles or as much as $30 million if he contests it.
“I’m pretty sure Kanye West hasn’t done anything about paying a bill in 20 years, he’d expect people to take care of it,” said an insider. “But Kanye can’t have this go to trial, as the jury may not be Kanye fans and just see a rich rapper ripping off normal folk, he can settle for much less or be hit with a $30 million legal bill.”
This is the latest legal drama for Kanye, who is also preparing for his potential divorce from Kim Kardashian. Back in August, MyChannel, Inc. sued the billionaire mogul for more than $20 million, accusing him of abandoning the partnership and stealing its technology for Sunday Service and his Yeezy brand.