Travis Scott’s charitable donations have left the rapper facing legal blowback from victims of the Astroworld festival.
Lawyers for the victims argue that Travis Scott should be subjected to a gag order while there are legal proceedings against him. Attorneys working for the family of Ezra Blount accuse the rapper of trying to use the media to win favor with potential jurors. The launch of a charitable initiative called Project HEAL on March 8 prompted the filing. Scott’s lawyers argue that his philanthropy work is genuine, and adding him to the gag order would violate his right to free speech.
“They only ask the defendant Scott, and his full team, consider participating in good faith in the legal process, stop the continued attempts at media marketing and reputation repair, and just let the truth be discovered through the course of the judicial process,” the legal filing reads, according to The Hollywood Reporter.
The massive lawsuit over what happened at Astroworld has been combined before a single judge. One of the judge’s first moves was to issue a publicity order, barring attorneys from talking about the case. Blount’s family filed an emergency motion demanding that Scott be added to the publicity order.
The filing cites widespread media coverage of Travis Scott’s Project HEAL as the main reason. Project HEAL is a $5 million charitable initiative launched by the rapper to “address the safety challenges faced by future large-scale events.”
Attorney Benjamin Crump argues that Project HEAL is designed to “gain goodwill” and to hurt the Astroworld victims’ “ability to obtain a fair trial in this case.” Crump argues that the gag order must apply to everyone involved in the case to ensure a level playing field – not just the lawyers.
Meanwhile, Travis Scott’s lawyers argue that his philanthropic efforts began well before Astroworld. They say that preventing Scott from discussing his efforts would violate his right to free speech. “Rather than welcome Mr. Scott’s continued commitment to charitable causes in Houston, one of the lawyers representing Mr. Blount decided to publicly disparage him,” writes Daniel Petrocelli, Travis Scott’s lead counsel.