Sportswear giant Adidas is investigating allegations troubled star Kanye West showed members of his Yeezy team explicit images of his then-wife Kim Kardashian and discussed porn openly at work.
Members of the team wrote in a letter that they felt ‘bullied and intimidated’ by West, and accuse their bosses of knowing about his behavior for years yet turning ‘their moral compass off.’
It comes just weeks after Adidas terminated its relationship with West amid the furor created by the rapper’s repeated anti-Semitic remarks.
The shocking accusations were first made in a feature published this week by Rolling Stone. In a statement on the story, Adidas said: ‘It is currently not clear whether the accusations made in an anonymous letter are true.’
The statement continued: ‘However, we take these allegations very seriously and have taken the decision to launch an independent investigation of the matter immediately to address the allegations.’
The new allegations come just weeks after Adidas terminated its relationship with West amid the furor created by the rapper’s repeated anti-Semitic remarks
Among the new bizarre allegations are that West showed Adidas employees an explicit photo of reality star Kim Kardashian
In response to the allegations, Adidas said it is investigating the claims and that it supports their staff
The Rolling Stone article said the letter, titled: ‘The Truth About Yeezy: A Call to Action for Adidas Leadership,’ accused West of being aggressive in the workplace, especially towards women.
The group said they asked Adidas to deal with the ‘toxic and chaotic environment Kanye West created.’ In another section of the letter, West is accused of subjecting workers to ‘years of verbal abuse, vulgar tirades and bullying attacks.’
At the time of writing, neither West nor Kim Kardashian’s representatives had responded to requests for comment.
When Adidas cut ties with West, costing the German firm billions of dollars in the process, it called his remarks ‘unacceptable, hateful and dangerous’.
Speaking about the Rolling Stone allegations, Adidas said the company was in a dialogue with employees when the decision was made to end its relationship with West.
Speaking about the Rolling Stone allegations, Adidas said the company was in a dialogue with employees when the decision was made to end its relationship with West
Among egregious acts committed, according to staff, the rapper showed a video of a porn star Francesca Le performing a sex act with another woman to employees.
In response to that allegation, Le said in a statement: ‘I take a lot of pride in the movies that I make. It is extremely concerning, disheartening, and disappointing that someone would use my work in a way that is demeaning to other human beings.’
She continued: ‘My work is my passion and I want those who watch the movies that I make to enjoy them, not be forced into viewing them.’
Earlier, the company said it began re-evaluating its relationship with West following the Jesus Walks’ singer appearance at Paris Fashion Week clad in a shirt that read White Lives Matter.
Shortly after that stunt, West was shunned by social media giants Instagram and Twitter. In addition to Adidas, clothing giants Balenciaga and Gap also ended their relationships with the singer.
According to the Rolling Stone piece, a young male who was interviewing for a job at Yeezy was shown an ‘intimate’ image of Kardashian by West just after it arrived on his phone, while an ‘explicit’ video of the reality star was shown to several co-workers.
West also told a female Adidas employee in China ‘I want you to make me a shoe I can f***’ and often played porn videos to colleagues – including home-made videos of himself and other women, the report claims.
The publication received several claims of incidents in which West appeared to use pornography, which he played during meetings, as a tool to bully and intimidate staff.
Former Yeezy president Pete Fox told Rolling Stone: ‘Steve Jobs or Elon Musk … they were responsible to shareholders; Kanye 100 percent owns his brands – he can do whatever he wants, and we’re just there to serve at his pleasure.’
In a statement to MailOnline, Adidas said: ‘Adidas does not tolerate hate speech and offensive behavior and therefore has terminated the Adidas Yeezy partnership.
‘We have been and continue to be actively engaged in conversations with our employees about the events that lead to our decision to end the partnership.
‘They have our full support and as we’re working through the details of the termination, we have been clear that we want to keep our employees’ talent and skills within the organization.
‘Having said this, we will not discuss private conversations, details or events that led to our decision to terminate the Adidas Yeezy partnership and decline to comment on any related speculation.’
Kardashian and West split last year after six years of marriage and have entered into a messy custody battle over their four children
In 2019, West admitted to being a porn addict, saying: ‘For me, Playboy was my gateway into full on pornography addiction. My dad had a Playboy left out at age five and it’s affected almost every choice I made for the rest of my life.
‘From age five till now, having to kick the habit and it just presents itself in the open like it’s OK and I stand up and say, ‘No, it’s not OK’.’
How much is Kanye really worth?
Forbes estimate that Kanye is worth around $2billion, with DailyMail.com breaking down his individual deals:
ADIDAS – $1.5billion
West’s deal with Adidas was the crowning jewel of his fortune, with sales climbing to $1.7billion in 2020 – earning him $191 million in royalties.
Forbes estimates that the Yeezy business with Adidas is worth $1.5billion, and the company confirmed that they were likely to lose up to $250million of their net income in 2022 as a result of the split.
GAP X BALENCIAGA – $970million
His GAP collection was estimated at around $970million when the deal was announced in 2021, but he has since terminated his work with the retailer.
Initial products sold out in 2021, after being announced in June 2020, in a partnership which was expected to last for ten years but was cut short by West.
GAP were also part of a deal between Yeezy and Balenciaga, with estimates claiming they would bring in $1billion in projected sales.
SKIMS – $160million
West, who divorced Kim Kardashian in 2020, remains a partner in Skims but it is unclear how much he earns from that.
He previously ranted about owning 5 percent of the business, which is estimated at a $3.2billion net worth.
If that is the case then he would have a $160million stake in the company.
MUSIC – $90million
He has sold over 140 million albums worldwide, and documents seen by Forbes show that his own recorded music and publishing rights is worth at least $90million.
Between mortgages, advances and other liabilities, Forbes say West owes about $100 million.
A video was shared by West last month apparently showing him sharing a porn movie on his phone with Adidas execs.
In the 30-minute-long video, the rapper meets with Adidas executives, whose faces are blurred out.
West could be seen meeting in a plain room surrounded by men on stools, apparently wearing Adidas sneakers, as he shows them something on his phone.
Eventually one of the men asks: ‘Is this a porn movie?’ to which West responds, ‘Yeah.’
Soon, the executive tries to swipe Kanye’s hand away and tells him to ‘come on.’
Following the termination of his Yeezy partnership, West could lose his billionaire status after also being dropped by a number of other partners, including Gap and Balenciaga.
His deal with Adidas was worth around $1.5 billion a year, netting the star around $220 million annually.
He claimed last month to have lost a masssive $2 billion in a single day after companies began to sever ties with him following his racist remarks made online.
Discussing the backlash, West insisted that ‘money is not who I am’ as he penned a ‘love letter’ to Hollywood super agent Ari Emanuel, who had called for West to be dropped by all major brands.
In a post captioned ‘LOVE SPEECH’, he penned: ‘Ari Emanuel, I lost 2 billion dollars in one day and I’m still alive. This is love speech. I still love you. God still loves you. The money is not who I am. The people is who I am.’
In an op-ed for the Financial Times, Endeavor co-CEO Emanuel wrote that there should be ‘no tolerance anywhere for West’s anti-Semitism’ and encouraged brands to fully cease partnering and working with the designer.
‘Apple and Spotify, which host West’s music, whoever organizes West’s tours, and Adidas, which collaborates with West on his fashion line, should all stop working with him,’ wrote Emanuel – essentially calling for a blacklisting.
Earlier this week, after having his Twitter account reinstated following a ban for his anti-semantic remarks, West announced he would be selling leftover Yeezy, Balenciaga and Adidas clothes for $20, ‘so everyone can afford quality clothes.’
In footage posted online, West appears almost joyful as he stands in a workspace that looks to be the host of an upcoming sample sale.
West’s Twitter account was restored on Tuesday, following the company’s recent takeover by Elon Musk.