A court case involving Kanye West has taken a significant turn in his favor.
According to Billboard, Manhattan Federal Judge Valerie E. Caproni denied a request by Adidas, West’s former business partner, to re-freeze $75 million held by the Yeezy brand. Adidas claimed it had paid that amount to West to market Yeezy products.
“It is hereby ordered that … Adidas’s motion for a TRO is denied,” Judge Caproni wrote, according to court documents obtained by Billboard.
In November 2022, Judge Caproni had originally swayed in the favor of Adidas, granting the asset freeze. However, on May 26, Yeezy’s lawyers refuted the temporary restraining order, and it was lifted by the judge. It was ruled that Adidas had failed to comply with the procedural requirements and that Yeezy had been “deprived” of a fair opportunity to defend itself.
Adidas lawyers moved swiftly within a matter of hours to file an emergency request for the assets to be re-freezed as they doubled down on their stance that Yeezy “has no legal right” to hold the funds.
The lawyers said the judge’s recent verdict could lead to “irreparable harm” for Adidas at a time when Yeezy is close to “insolvency.”
“Yeezy is likely to comingle the funds with an unknown balance of funds in its possession at other financial institutions, such that it would be more difficult if not impracticable to audit those accounts and determine which monies are owned by Adidas,” Adidas lawyers wrote, per Billboard. “In addition, Ye (Kanye West) faces a clear risk of insolvency, giving rise to a risk of irreparable harm.”
Per Bloomberg, the judge explained during the hearing that Adidas would still likely recoup the $75 million in its arbitration case against Yeezy for his antisemitic comments. However, the company had failed to meet the legal criteria to be granted a temporary restraining order. The judge also added Adidas only provided “tabloid speculation” pertaining to Yeezy’s inability to pay off its debts.