Kanye West being sued by two ex-Donda Academy teachers: ‘It’s like a mental hospital being run by the patients!’
Kanye West is being sued in a lawsuit by two former Donda Academy employees for racial discrimination and wrongful termination, with the plaintiffs reportedly seeking $1 million in damages.
Kanye West is being sued in a sensational lawsuit by two former Donda Academy employees for racial discrimination and wrongful termination.
The 45-year-old rapper dad-of-four set up the secretive $15,000-a-year school in California in 2021,and is said to be facing a claim for $1 million in damages from teachers Cecilia Hailey and Chekarey Byers, who say they were discriminated against based on their race, had wages illegally withheld and were terminated in March 2023 in retaliation for reporting code violations.
Chekarey said in a statement: “I’m extremely sad about all of this. It was such a huge honor and privilege to work at Donda Academy for Kanye West.
“I’m a huge Kanye fan. His first album was the first I ever purchased,” Byers said in a statement.
“I still enjoy his music, and I’ll never deny his talent, but while his vision for the school sounds great on paper, it’s just pure chaos and mutiny. It’s like a mental hospital being run by the patients.”
Cecilia and Chekarey say in legal documents obtained by Page Six they were the only black female teachers employed by Donda Academy, and are suing the academy and its directors alongside Kanye.
DailyMail.com reports it was told the plaintiffs “are now seeking in excess of $1 million in damages”.
Their suit names school directors Brianne Campbell, Allison Tidwell and Chris Julian, and Chekarey branded the school “like a mental hospital being run by the patients”.
The documents claim students were fed only one meal per day – which was sushi – and barred from bringing in outside food or anything other than water to drink.
They also allege Kanye spent $10,000 per week on sushi, and say teachers state the rapper banned crossword puzzles and “colouring sheets” at the school, wouldn’t allow pupils to go outdoors during the daytime even for lunch or breaks
Among other bizarre and disturbing allegations made in the lawsuit are that all all colour including art was prohibited inside classrooms, and that everyone was forced to wear all black from head to toe, and classes were banned from the second floor because Kanye is “afraid” of stairs.
An alleged litany of health and safety code violations are said to include doors at the academy being locked from the outside, making them a fire hazard.
The two complainants say they were subjected to “stereotypes about African American women as being confrontational” after they raised concerns over the school's practices.
Their lawsuit also states there were no cleaning staff at the academy as Kanye did not “believe in cleaning products containing chemicals”, allegedly leaving teachers “to clean with acid water and microfiber cloths”.
The Yeezy fashion designer is said to have banned Nike and Adidas from being worn on campus as he wanted everyone in his designer gear from “head to toe”.
Teachers are also said to not have been trained in basic life support and apparently no nursing staff were employed on campus.
Cecilia and Chekarey are suing to recoup unpaid wages, loss of earnings and other employment benefits, and Kanye – who was last year embroiled in a global scandal over his anti-Semitic outbursts – has not yet publicly responded to their allegations.
They also hope to receive damages for emotional distress and medical expenses.
The pair’s attorney Ron Zambrano said: “Kanye West is clearly as bad at running a school as he is at managing his own personal and professional life, enabling an unsafe and illegal school environment for students that also discriminated against the plaintiffs based on their race.
“These egregious violations at Donda Academy are just another example of West’s unusual behaviour, and our clients just won’t stand for it, no matter his celebrity status.
“Kanye needs to realise his genius is in creating music, not in school administration.”