Kanye West’s Yeezy brand just hit a former employee with a hefty lawsuit. According to The Hollywood Reporter, the fashion company is suing one of its summer interns, Ryan Inwards, for breach of contract and conversion after he posted confidential photos on his Instagram account. The brand claims that by posting the photos, Inwards violated his nondisclosure agreement.
Lawyers representing the brand filed the complaint on Friday (Jan. 15) in the Los Angeles County Superior Court. According to court documents, the nondisclosure agreement that Inwards signed included a $500,000 liquidated damages provision, which the brand is now seeking to enforce. The Hollywood Reporter described the provision as “an upfront price tag on contractual breaches in an effort to further ensure compliance.”
By signing the agreement, Inwards was explicitly prohibited from sharing or disclosing confidential information on his social media, court documents argue. The brand also claims that the former intern has refused to take down the posts, despite being sent multiple cease and desist letters. At the time of publishing, though, Hollywood Reporter writes that all of Inwards’ Instagram posts have been deleted.
In addition to the half-million dollar provision, Yeezy is also seeking an undisclosed amount of punitive damages because the company believes Inwards acted with malicious intent. The brand has also asked the court for an injunction ordering Inwards to give the photos back to Yeezy and to stop him from sharing similar posts in the future.
Yeezy dominated headlines this summer after Kanye announced the brand’s partnership with Gap. As previously reported by REVOLT, the Jesus Is King rapper locked down a 10-year deal with the company with the option to renew after five. Yeezy-Gap is expected to debut this year and feature apparel for men, women and kids “at accessible price points.” Unlike Kanye’s popular Yeezy shoes, though, Yeezy-Gap will not offer a footwear line.