Kanye West isn’t the only person from his camp accused of doing botched business with an Asian clothing line. According to The Hollywood Reporter, Korean fashion brand claims Malik Yusef forged Kanye’s signature on several contracts, as well as using fake invoices from companies including Roc-A-Fella in a multi-million dollar scam.
Gentle Monster, a brand cherished by celebrities such as Beyonce, filed a lawsuit against Yusef today in L.A. County Superior Court accusing Yusef of using his relationship with Kanye West to deceive the clothing brand into believing he was scoping for top talent in order to do a series of videos for Project 13.
“From their earliest interactions with Gentle Monster, defendants went out of their way to describe Yusef’s star-studded connections,” Susan Leader, Gentle Monster’s attorney, wrote. “They never missed an opportunity to mention that Yusef routinely works with artists like Beyoncé and Kanye, that he tours with Jay–Z, or that he vacations with Pharrell Williams.”
The company claims Yusef made them believe that the only way they can stay within their budget for the series is if they go directly through Yusef and dodge agents. Gentle Monster said that wired more than $2.5M to Yusef and his agents under the impression that he’d bring celebrities like Kanye, Pharell, Jaden Smith, and Paris Jackson. After the company requested a signature from Kanye or Pharrell to confirm their participation, Yusef allegedly forged Kanye’s signature.
“Defendants’ deception was both flagrant and brazen,” Leader continued. “Specifically, they forged Kanye’s signature, created a shell entity named after Kanye’s deceased mother, issued fraudulent invoices made to appear as though they had been issued by legitimate talent agencies, lied about their contacts and work with artists, and, in the end, pocketed more than $2.5 million from Gentle Monster.” ‘
The company sued Yusef, as well as his manager and business partner Burundi Partlow and Sonja Nutall, on claims of fraud, breach of contract, breach of the implied covenant of good faith and fair dealing and unfair competition.