Kanye West has been accused of showing revealing pictures of his ex-wife Kim Kardashian to employees at Adidas, as part of what many see as “intimidation tactics”, according to a new report.
The 43-year-old rapper and producer, also known as Ye, last month lost a design contract with the sportswear brand over anti-semitic comments. He was accused of showing the images ia Rolling Stone article published on Tuesday.
One employee claimed Ye showed a revealing picture of Kardashian, 41, during a job interview in 2018.
“My wife sent me this,” Ye allegedly said after showing a “very revealing and intimate” photo on his phone.
Another former employee, according to the report, alleged that Ye showed “personal” images of Kardashian to the creative team at his Yeezy brand that same year.
A third source who was not identified told Rolling Stone West had “no fear of showing revealing images or talking about situations that should be kept private”.
Former Adidas employees told Rolling Stone that Ye often showed explicit images, including her own sex tapes.
“I feel like it was a tactic to break someone down and establish their unwavering loyalty to him, testing and destroying people’s boundaries,” said one. Another claimed that Ye targeted female employees.
Some of the allegations were made in an open letter, titled The Truth About Yeezy: A Call to Action for Adidas Leadership, obtained by Rolling Stone. In the letter, employees criticized Adidas executives for allegedly turning off their “moral compass”.
The letter urged Adidas board members and senior leaders to address “the toxic and chaotic environment created by Kanye West” and “a very sick pattern of prejudicial behavior towards women”.
The letter continued: “In recent years, he has lashed out at women in the room with offensive comments, and would resort to disturbing sexual references when providing design feedback. This is a response from a brand partner that Adidas employees should never be subjected to, and Adidas leadership should never accept.”
In comments to Rolling Stone, Yeezy and Adidas employees also expressed regret at accepting what they saw as an unwritten rule — “Kanye is just Kanye” — that they said lessened the impact of his alleged behavior.
In the letter, employees accused Adidas of a lack of “responsibility, accountability and protection that Adidas has failed to provide its employees during the years we have endured verbal abuse, vulgar tirades, and bullying attacks”.
One former employee who worked closely with Ye said: “Adidas enabled a lot of that kind of behavior.”
Former employees at Adidas also said that Ye’s behavior was in the public eye when he fired a 30 minute documentary on YouTube in which he portrayed Adidas executives at a company meeting.
Saying it spoke up for employees who may be “afraid to speak up”, the open letter claims the documentary showed “it is by no means a new approach to intimidation”, adding that “behaviour has begun problematic Kanye within the first year of his partnership with the organization. Adidas brand”.
On Wednesday, an Adidas spokesperson told the Guardian: “Adidas does not accept hate speech and abusive behavior and has therefore ended the Adidas Yeezy partnership.
“We have been and continue to be active in conversations with our employees about the events that led to our decision to end the partnership. They have our full support and as we work through the details of the termination, it is clear to us that we want to retain the talent and skills of our employees within the organization.
“Having said this, we will not discuss private conversations, details or events that led to our decision to end the Adidas Yeezy partnership and decline to comment on any related speculation.”
There is no mention of Ye. The Guardian was not immediately able to reach him for comment.
Gap, Balenciaga and talent agency CAA also dropped partnerships with Ye. His accounts were blocked by Twitter and Instagram.
In October, during Paris fashion week, Ye appearance at his own show wearing a “White Lives Matter” T-shirt and in tweets said he planned to “death con [sic] 3 on the Jews”. He also accused Adidas and Gap of stealing his designs.
Ye previously said his family was “destroyed” by pornography. Earlier this month, he write on Twitter: “I’m taking a 30 day cleanse. A quick verbal. No alcohol. Without registration movies for adults. No intercourse.”