Kanye West faces lawsuit filed by former construction manager at rapper's Malibu mansion

Michelle Fisher Image
Thursday, September 14, 2023
Ye faces suit filed by former contractor at rapper's Malibu mansion
Ye, the rapper formerly known as Kanye West, is facing a new lawsuit - this one over his multimillion-dollar beachfront mansion in Malibu.

MALIBU, Calif. (KABC) -- Ye, the rapper formerly known as Kanye West, is facing a new lawsuit -- this one over a construction project at his multimillion-dollar beachfront mansion in Malibu.

"This is a case is about wrongful termination, failure to pay wages, discrimination based on medical conditions, and putting an employee in an unsafe space," said Neama Rahmani, president of West Coast Employment Lawyers. Rahmani is representing the plaintiff in the case, Tony Saxon.

The lawsuit was filed Wednesday in Los Angeles Superior Court, two years after Saxon says Ye hired him in September 2021 as a project manager.

"What Ye wanted to do was essentially turn his newly purchased $57 million-dollar architectural masterpiece home into an open-concept art project," Saxon said in an interview with ABC7. "I was spearheading this campaign and labor to make such changes."

Those changes included things like removing the home's electrical wiring and windows.

According to the complaint, Saxon wasn't fully compensated for overseeing the project. He claims Ye agreed to pay him $20,000 per week. But a month after he started working, Saxon says, he only received one $20,000 payment and $100,000 for constructions costs.

A photographer has sued Kanye West for assault, battery, negligence and more over an incident that happened in January in Newbury Park.

The lawsuit also says that during that period, Saxon stayed at the home as a full-time security guard and live-in property caretaker. With no bed, Saxon says, he was forced to sleep on the ground, using a coat as makeshift bedding.

"Tony suffered injuries to his back as a result of carrying concrete and having to sleep on the floor," Rahmani told ABC7. "He was paid for some part over a four-month period, but there was an amount outstanding when Kanye fired him because he complained about the working conditions and his injuries."

Ye's attorneys did not respond to ABC7's request for comment.

Saxon said he is now owed more than $1 million in unpaid wages and loss of earnings.

"I would at least like to be properly compensated for the time that I was there and the time following," Saxon said. "It's a stressful mess that stays with you for the rest of your life."

Rahmani alleges it's part of a pattern for Ye.

"It doesn't matter whether it's at his home or at his school, he puts his employees and his students in an unsafe work environment," Rahmani said. "When they complain, he retaliates against them, fires them and does not pay them what they are owed."

In April, two former teachers of Ye's Donda Academy in Simi Valley sued him for wrongful termination after they said they raised concerns about the private school's practices.