The Three Stripes received the federal court order in November after its messy divorce from Ye, but the key facts only became unsealed this week.
The fallout of the kaput Adidas-Kanye West business relationship regarding the Yeezy footwear and apparel brand hasn’t produced any new drama over the last couple of weeks, but on Wednesday, legal news outfit Law360 reported a head-turning wrinkle that’s a bit of a blast from the past.
As Jade Martinez-Pogue wrote, Adidas sought an order in federal court on Nov. 11, 2023 to freeze $75 million in Yeezy-related assets in bank accounts linked either directly or indirectly to Ye. The request was successful, and the sneaker and sportswear giant returned to court this week to ask for the freeze to be upheld.
So, what enabled Adidas to score a win here? It’s simple: a federal judge felt there was more than simply plausible risk that Kanye and Co. would pull those millions right out of the accounts in question if clear action wasn’t taken to prevent it.
“[T]he court is satisfied that there is a risk that Yeezy will remove or dissipate assets if notice of this request for attachment is given to Yeezy,” US District Judge Valerie Caproni of the Southern District of New York wrote on Nov. 11. of her decision.
Until now, all documents related to these proceedings were under seal.
$75 million is a gigantic number, of course, but it’s far from the biggest one regarding the ongoing recriminations between Adidas and Mr. West. It has been widely reported that the company currently holds about $1.3 billion in Yeezy product that was promptly pulled from retail shelves both physical and digital after Ye’s high-profile crashings and burnings marked by stunningly antisemitic statements and generally erratic behavior.
Earlier this month, Adidas CEO Bjoern Gulden announced that it would sell off some portion of the product and donate the proceeds to “organizations that are helping us and that were also hurt by Kanye’s statements.” As of this writing, it’s unclear how, where, and to whom the company intends to sell the items in question.
In the meantime, the Three Stripes remain adamant that the $75 million in Yeezy funds must remain frozen given an alleged risk that Ye and/or other Yeezy associates in his camp would use the money to do additional harm to Adidas — or diminish his own ability to stay sufficiently solvent in the case of future financial liabilities as the legal war rolls on.
“There is every indication that if released, Yeezy will spend [the money], misusing Adidas’s property and rendering an award against them ineffectual,” attorneys for Adidas wrote in their court filing earlier this month.
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