Former employees who worked with Ye’s Yeezy fashion brand are accusing the rapper of “problematic” workplace behavior that partner company Adidas allowed to happen, including sharing explicit photos of Kim Kardashian and showing workers pornography, according to a new report.
In a letter to Adidas executives shared with Rolling Stone, top former Yeezy and Adidas staffers say that Ye, the rapper formerly known as Kanye West, created an abusive work culture and used his misconduct as a form of “intimidation.” Instead of intervening, Adidas leadership turned “their moral compass off,” the former employees allege, according to Rolling Stone. The magazine’s Tuesday report, along with a prior story, is based on interviews with more than two dozen former Adidas and Yeezy employees.
These accusations include Ye playing pornography to Yeezy staff in meetings, showing employees intimate photos of his then-wife Kim Kardashian, and playing his own sex tapes to team members.
Titled “The Truth About Yeezy: A Call to Action for Adidas Leadership,” the letter demands that executive board members and the CEO of Adidas address “the toxic and chaotic environment that Kanye West created” as well as a “very sick pattern of predacious behavior toward women” who worked with Ye.
“Difficult moments happened, with executives in the room — VP level or higher — and nothing would be done. You’d still show up to work the next day,” the letter reads. The report and letter come a month after Adidas cut ties with Ye over his antisemitic remarks.
Publicists who were listed as representing Ye did not immediately respond to HuffPost’s request for comment. Rolling Stone was also unable to reach Ye, who has reportedly been dropped by multiple representatives and attorneys who could otherwise speak on his behalf.
In a statement to HuffPost, an Adidas spokesperson declined to address the new allegations, saying, “We will not discuss private conversations, details or events that [led] to our decision to terminate the adidas Yeezy partnership.”
“We have been and continue to be actively engaged in conversations with our employees about the events that led to our decision to end the partnership,” the spokesperson said. “They have our full support.”
Kim Kardashian in 2019.
Kardashian did not immediately respond to HuffPost’s request for comment, nor did her spokesperson respond to Rolling Stone.
One young creative told Rolling Stone that Ye showed him an explicit picture of Kardashian on his phone during a 2018 job interview, and that Ye told him: “My wife just sent me this.” At least one other former employee allegedly remembered Ye showing an erotic video of Kardashian —who filed for divorce from the rapper in 2021— to the creative team at Yeezy that same year.
Former staff told the magazine that playing pornographic videos during meetings was a regular occurrence, and that Ye would even make them watch his own homemade footage that showed him engaging in sexual activities with women. Ye himself shared documentary footage in October in which he’s seen showing pornography to Adidas executives.
One former employee told Rolling Stone that Ye’s oversexualization also trickled down to the way he’d ask them to design his products — and that Ye once expressed his desire for them to make a sneaker he could ejaculate into.
“Not a sex-toy sneaker but something that you were so into that you would wanna have an intimate relationship,” the employee recalled Ye saying. “He’d be, like, ‘literally fuck.’ He would be very clear on what that meant.”
Ye admittedthree years ago to having a “full on” pornography addiction during an interview on “The Zane Lowe Show” podcast.