The family of the youngest victim of Travis Scott‘s Astroworld tragedy has claimed that the rapper’s latest charitable project, “Project HEAL,” is just a publicity stunt aimed to clean up his image.
In the latest filing on Friday, March 11, attorneys for the 9-year-old victim, Ezra Blount, said Scott must be prevented from carrying out a “highly sophisticated marketing campaign” and a “tone-deaf attempt to shift the narrative.”
“They only ask the defendant Scott, and his full team, consider participating in good faith in the legal process, stop the continued attempts at media marketing and reputation repair, and just let the truth be discovered through the course of the judicial process,” they wrote.
“It’s a PR stunt. He’s pretty much trying to sway the jurors before they’re even assembled,” Tericia Blount, grandmother of Ezra Blount told Rolling Stone. “He’s trying to make himself look good, but it doesn’t look that way to someone with our eyes. What we’re seeing is that he’s done wrong, and now he’s trying to be the good guy and trying to give his own verdict on safety.”
However, Scott’s lawyers filed a motion defending the musician’s right to “make public statements about his ongoing philanthropic work, even as it relates to public safety.”
The motion argues that it would be “overly broad” for the judge overseeing the hundreds of Astroworld lawsuits to include Scott in the gag order now governing lawyers in the case.
“It also runs afoul of the First Amendment, which guarantees parties like Mr. Scott the right to speak publicly about important philanthropic work that began long before the Astroworld Festival or… almost immediately afterward,” the lawyers write in the new filing obtained by Rolling Stone.
Scott recently launched a new event safety initiative called Project HEAL through his Cactus Jack Foundation. The rapper will back the initiative with a $5 million funding commitment, while a portion of proceeds from Scott’s “upcoming product launches” will also go towards the initiative, according to an announcement on the Project HEAL website.
Last November, 10 people were killed and hundreds injured at Astroworld due to a crowd rush before the start of Scott’s headlining set.
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