Kanye West Allegedly Hired Johnny Depp’s Defamation Trial Lawyer, Camille Vasquez
American producer, rapper, and fashion designer Kanye West has reportedly retained Camille Vasquez, along with others at the Brown Rudnick firm. Vasquez may be a familiar face and name; she was the breakout star in the macabre courtroom drama that was Johnny Depp’s defamation case against his ex-wife, Amber Heard. TMZ reports that Vasquez is one of a group of lawyers at the firm hired to handle West’s “business interests,” which are unlikely to be televised anytime soon. Vanity Fair has reached out to Vasquez for confirmation.
The rapper-entrepreneur, who legally changed his name to Ye a year ago, is said to have retained national law firm Brown Rudnick to represent him as his contracts and deals evaporate following his spate of antisemitic remarks and false claims about the death of George Floyd, whose family is suing the rapper for harassment, misappropriation and defamation.
According to Vanity Fair, Kanye West has found himself in a number of potentially legally significant quagmires, business or otherwise, of late. Balenciaga announced it had severed ties with the rapper, a move that came after he debuted “White Lives Matter” shirts on the runway at Paris Fashion Week and followed that with sustained antisemitic vitriol in various spaces online and off. Adidas said their relationship was “under review” weeks ago, but the current official status is unclear. JPMorgan Chase dropped him as a client, though it reportedly predated the antisemitic statements and the shirts.
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Vasquez is a partner at Brown Rudnick’s Irvine-based operation and became an international celebrity during last spring’s bombshell defamation trial between Depp and his ex-wife Amber Heard. Vasquez became a star among Depp supporters on social media and a sought-after talent in the business realm.
The firm will not be representing the rapper during his protracted divorce proceedings with reality star Kim Kardashian. For that task, Ye recently hired Robert Stephan Cohen of New York’s Cohen Clair Lans Greifer Thorpe & Rottenstreich LLP, who represented Melinda Gates in her split from Microsoft co-founder Bill Gates, per TMZ.
Also, after West said last week on the podcast Drink Champs that George Floyd’s death was due to a fentanyl overdose, and not former police officer Derek Chauvin kneeling on Floyd’s neck for nine and a half minutes, as the Hennepin County Medical Examiner’s Office ruled, Floyd’s family announced their intention to sue. Per NPR, Roxie Washington, the mother of Floyd’s daughter, Gianna, plans to file, and her lawyers announced that they’ll be suing for $250 million in damages for “harassment, misappropriation, defamation, and infliction of emotional distress.”
West is also finalizing his divorce with Kim Kardashian, and has cycled through several lawyers for that. If they can’t come to an agreement on it, it’ll go to trial in December,
Vasquez gained a lot of notoriety during Depp’s trial, in part because of romance rumors between her and the “Pirates of the Caribbean” star, 59.
However, the attorney slammed those allegations, calling them “sexist” and “unethical.”
Vasquez also became well-respected by the public for her cross-examination of Heard, 36, and her firm ultimately recognized that good work as well by making her partner after the trial.
“We are delighted to welcome Camille to the partnership,” William Baldiga, chairman and CEO of Brown Rudnick, said in a press release in June.
“Historically, we have reserved this announcement for the end of our fiscal year. But Camille’s performance during the Johnny Depp trial proved to the world that she was ready to take this next step now. We are incredibly proud of her and look forward to what she will accomplish as our newest partner.”
Vasquez could not immediately be reached for comment on whether she is representing West. His reps also did not immediately return our requests.
West has been recently doing a lot of hiring and firing when it comes to his attorneys.
In late September, the father of four brought on Melinda Gates’ former divorce lawyer, Robert Stephan Cohen, to represent him in his case against ex-wife Kim Kardashian.
A rep for the senior partner at Cohen Clair Lans Greifer Thorpe & Rottenstreich LLP confirmed to Page Six at the time that West had retained him as counsel.
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Sources: TMZ, Vanity Fair, NPR, Page Six
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