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Kanye West’s Troubles Mount as Lawsuit Filed Over Sunglasses Shoot

West’s apparel company Yeezy LLC is accused of bilking a Brooklyn-based freelance creative director of nearly 100K for September shoot.





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Kanye West is a polarizing public figure. He is a talented artist. But his growing list of controversial comments — including his recent run of antisemitic remarks — is hard to ignore.

His work in the music and fashion industries, along with his penchant for sharing his sometimes outlandish (and sometimes detestable) opinions, certainly do keep him in the public eye.


However, a lawsuit filed recently in New York Supreme Court took aim not at something West did or said. Rather, it centered on something he allegedly didn’t do.

A creative director filed the lawsuit against West’s company Yeezy LLC. Katelyn Mooney, a Brooklyn-based freelancer, alleges she hasn’t received full payment for a photo shoot she directed in September for West’s new sunglasses line SHDZ.

Mooney says she was offered $110,00 on Sept. 11 for the Sept. 13 shoot. To date, she claims to have only received $15K for her work.

From the lawsuit:

“In September 2022, Kanye West’s company, Defendant Yeezy LLC, hired Plaintiff Katelyn Mooney as an independent contractor to produce a photo shoot for Kanye West’s new eyewear line on an extremely tight schedule. Ms. Mooney worked tirelessly to pull together everything needed for the photo shoot and fully delivered on the myriad moving parts necessary to complete the shoot. To date, Yeezy has failed to pay Ms. Mooney Ninety-Five Thousand Dollars ($95,000) owed under invoices Ms. Mooney issued to Yeezy in September 2022.”

Mooney says she was responsible for every aspect of the shoot, from hiring models and catering services to securing studio space and lighting. In the filing, Mooney claims she upheld her end of the bargain despite the short two-day timeline during New York Fashion week. The filing claims West, who now goes by the name Ye, attended the shoot to model his SHDZ specs.


Mooney says she issued her full invoice of $110,000 for the shoot on Sept. 28. The company allegedly told her it would “release payment once [sic] get approval [from Kanye West].”

Apparently, that approval was never sent. And then less than a week after Mooney sent her invoice, Ye was sending models down a runway in Paris wearing “White Lives Matter” shirts.

The Paris show turned out to be a pivotal moment for Ye. It effectively kicked off his recent downward spiral. Among the lowlights: antisemitic comments, loss of corporate sponsors (most notably Adidas), and a doubling down on his antisemitism on Alex Jones’ InfoWars. (Vox tries to explain it all here. We sure can’t.) If that weren’t enough, his divorce with Kim Kardashian was finalized this week.

Mooney, for her part, just wants to be paid for her work. In her lawsuit, the mother of three claims she’s “had had to take out a significant loan and max out her credit cards just to cover her rent and other bills.”

The New York Post reports that a Yeezy representative said: “All debts have been paid.”

Mooney’s legal representation disputes the claim as “absolutely false.”


The New York lawsuit isn’t the only legal issue facing Ye. A copyright lawsuit was filed this week over his song “Life of the Party”, which allegedly copies a track by rap pioneers Boogie Down Productions without permission.

Also this week, tax documents revealed his Yeezy Apparel company owes more than $600,000 in unpaid taxes to the state of California.



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