School of horrors? Kanye West threatened to lock kids in cages at his private Christian school, new suit says

An explosive new lawsuit adds to the troubling picture of Kanye West’s private Christian school, with a former employee alleging that the rapper and fashion mogul once told two young students that he wanted to “shave their heads” and lock them in “cages.”

The former employee at West’s Donda Academy further accused the artist, also known as Ye, of creating a hostile work environment by spewing antisemitic remarks at staff meetings, including by allegedly saying “the Jews are out to get me” and “the Jews are stealing all my money,” according to reports by The Daily Beast and the New York Times.

When West summoned the employee, Trevor Phillips, for a private meeting at the Nobu Hotel in Malibu, Phillips’ lawsuit said the rapper spent three hours denying the Holocaust, complimenting Hitler and attacking the LGBTQ community, by saying that “Gay people are not true Christians.”

The lawsuit, filed Tuesday in Los Angeles Superior Court, is the latest legal action filed by former employees of West’s embattled K-8 school, which has been shrouded in mystery ever since it opened. The status of the Simi Valley school is currently not known, the New York Times said.

Named for West’s late mother, the school is unaccredited, but reportedly charged $15,000 a year and required parents to sign non-disclosure agreements to prevent leaks. During an interview with “Good Morning America” in 2022, West called Donda Academy his “gospel school,” saying that it gives “kids practical tools that they need in a world post the iPhone being created.”

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Last year, three former teachers filed wrongful termination lawsuits, portraying the school as a “dystopian institution designed to satisfy Ye’s idiosyncrasies,” NBC News reported. The teachers alleged that they were fired in retaliation for reporting code violations. The teachers claimed there were no janitorial services or medical staff and that forks, jewelry and clothes that weren’t black or designed by West were banned. The teachers, who are Black, also claimed that they faced racial discrimination and that administrators failed to respond to severe bullying.

In the new suit, Phillips said he was hired in November 2022, around the time that West launched a series of public antisemitic rants that lost him a major-label record deal, the New York Times said. Adidas and Gap also cut business ties with Yeezy, West’s fashion brand.

Phillips said he initially was hired to oversee “projects related to growing cotton” and other plants in an effort to make Yeezy “self-sustainable. But Phillips then went to work Donda Academy, the Daily Beast and New York Times said. In this hybrid role, Phillips said he was was expected to always be on call despite not receiving his full salary, the Daily Beast reported.

At Donda Academy, Phillips’ lawsuit alleged that West boasted about using school funds to help fund a multimillion-dollar trip to Paris. More troubling, the lawsuit said that West touted his “discriminatory conspiracies of Jews during meetings,” which staffers felt they needed to ignore out of fear of losing their jobs. The lawsuit also contained a screenshot of a text message West allegedly sent to Phillips taking issue with how he carried out a task. “I am on some complete Hitler level stuff,” West said, adding, “Minus the gas chambers.”

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Phillips’ lawsuit also recounted a conversation he witnessed West have in front of two students. The suit alleged that West “started to openly discuss how he only likes to date white women.” West then turned his attention to two young students, telling them that “he wanted them to shave their heads and that he intended to put a jail at the school—and that they could be locked in cages,” the lawsuit said. “The staff quickly distracted the children, and escorted them out of the room,” the lawsuit said.

 

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