Kanye West made a settlement payment to an employee who alleged the disgraced rapper praised Nazis and mass murderer Adolf Hitler multiple times, and numerous other staffers signed nondisclosure agreements after they overheard him making antisemitic remarks, NBC News reported Wednesday, as West faces widespread public backlash and business fallout for a string of antisemitic comments.
The settlement accused West of praising Hitler in meetings, though West denied the allegations in the agreement, according to NBC News, which cited documents and interviews.
Six people who have worked with West—whose legal name is Ye—told NBC News the rapper regularly made pro-Hitler and pro-Nazi comments dating back to at least 2018, well before controversy over fresh antisemitic remarks led to the collapse of his business empire.
One employee said the comments were so regular they lost count of how many NDAs they signed, while three others told NBC News they were asked to sign multiple NDAs.
Ryder Ripps, a Jewish conceptual artist who worked with West between 2014 and 2018, told NBC News that West openly made antisemitic comments and suggested Jewish conspiracy theories in his presence, saying, “He said stuff like ‘Jews have the codes’ a lot.”
CNN reported last week that a business executive who worked with West also reached a separate settlement in response to a hostile work complaint, in part over West’s “obsession” with Hitler.
A representative for West did not immediately respond to a request for comment from Forbes.
“With this pattern that’s happening and with the doubling and tripling down of all this, it’s pretty obvious that this is some kind of disgusting, hate-filled, strange Nazi obsession,” Ripps told NBC News.
West was said to be so consumed with Hitler and Nazism in 2018 that he wanted to name his album “Hitler” before going with Ye, according to CNN. Numerous reports of antisemitic comments by West have surfaced in recent weeks after he went on a series of bizarre rants, headlined by an October 9 tweet vowing to go “death con 3 on Jewish people.” High-profile brands that partnered with West, including Adidas, Gap and Balenciaga, cut ties with him over the comments, and he’s been restricted from most mainstream social media platforms. West has a history of mental illness and bipolar disorder, but he’s regularly rejected the diagnosis, at one point saying a Jewish doctor misdiagnosed him as a “a control mechanism.” It’s unclear how much mental illness has played into West’s recent comments, if at all.
$400.1 million. That’s how much we estimate West to be worth—down from around $2 billion before his recent comments, which led Adidas to end its lucrative shoe deal with the rapper.