The artist formerly known as Kanye West is being sued after a former property manager and caretaker said Ye fired him when he refused to remove all of the windows and electricity from the rapper’s Malibu home.
A former project manager and property caretaker for Kanye West said the artist fired him after he refused to remove all the windows and electricity from Ye’s Malibu home, according to a lawsuit filed on Wednesday.
Tony Saxon, a property caretaker for the artist formerly known as Kanye West, refused to move large generators into the home, after which Ye ordered him to “get the hell out,” telling him he would be “considered an enemy if he did not comply,” according to the complaint filed in Los Angeles County Superior Court.
“When Plaintiff refused to engage in unlawful conduct or to engage in activity that would further cause him physical injury, Mr. Ye responded: ‘If you don’t do what I say, you’re not going to work for me, I’m not gonna be your friend anymore, and you’ll just see me on TV,” the lawsuit says, adding that Saxon said he doesn’t watch TV.
Ye ultimately fired Saxon, who also worked for him as a security guard and caretaker at the property, for not complying with his “dangerous” requests, according to the lawsuit. Saxon worked for Ye for about two months and alleged that the rapper promised to pay him $20,000 per week but only made two payments – one to cover Saxon’s weekly salary and another for the project’s budget.
“I always had his best interests in mind as a friend,” says the 32-year-old Saxon in an interview, comparing the events that led to his firing to a friend stopping another friend from driving drunk. “They get really mad that you overstepped your boundaries, but still, they could have gotten really hurt.”
The lawsuit alleges multiple labor code violations, including dangerous working conditions, unpaid wages, and wrongful retaliatory termination. Saxon’s lawyer, Ron Zambrano – the same attorney representing the former dancers suing Lizzo – said that the rapper “has shown a reckless disregard toward his employees and has flouted the law in unbelievably dangerous ways throughout this entire project at the Malibu house.”
“He continues his pattern of not paying his bills while treating workers terribly. No employee should have to suffer through the sort of working conditions Mr. Saxon was forced to endure, yet Ye showed no concern and merely wanted the work done, despite the hazardous and unsafe, not to mention illegal actions he was trying to force the plaintiff to undertake,” writes Zambrano.
Saxon describes himself as a “jack of all trades” with a background in music, design, and construction and said Kanye West hired him through a referral. He said that Ye’s vision for the beach house – which he bought in September 2021 in a reportedly off-market deal – was to make a “bomb shelter from the 1910s” by demolishing the custom marble bathrooms, removing the custom windows, plumbing, and electricity, and replacing the stairs with slides.
“We were going to be gutting all of that out and sort of building him a Bat Cave,” where he said he could “hide from the Clintons and the Kardashians,” said Saxon, who adds that he initially believed Ye was seeking to make an “art project,” not a liveable space. “As we progress, it’s becoming clear that, no, he wants to live here.”
But Ye said he wanted no electricity, only plants. He only wanted candles and battery lights, and he wanted everything “open and dark,” according to Saxon.
“You can’t keep food in that house, because you had no refrigerator left,” Saxon said. “You had no windows. I had seagulls flying in.”
Ye allegedly told Saxon that he didn’t want to be a “slave” to modern conveniences, and he did not want to be “accessible” to the government.
“He wants to be on a privatized WiFi network,” says Saxon. “He wants to have an alternate source of energy. He wants to have no doors, no windows, no fixtures, just concrete.”
The lawsuit was filed by the same attorneys suing Ye over allegations related to his private school, Donda Academy, and its predecessor, Yeezy Christian Academy. A lawsuit filed in April by two former Donda Academy teachers alleges a bizarre assortment of rules, including bans on chairs, artwork on the walls, climbing the stairs, and outside food, when the school menu only included sushi, according to the suit.
Teachers describe an institution with no disciplinary system despite a problem with bullying. Meanwhile, a separate suit from the former assistant principal says that the school had no electricity after opening in August 2021. A trial is set to begin in April 2025.