'aggressive' | 

Irish man sues Kanye West for €4.5m

Kanye West’s ex business manager Thomas St. John has accused Ye of refusing to pay 18-months' worth of fees

Kanye West has been dropped by Adidas over his anti-Semitic comments

Thomas St John

Eugene MastersonSunday World

An Irishman who was once Kanye West’s business manager is suing the superstar American rapper for €4.5 million.

Thomas St. John, who is from near Tuam Co Galway and is head of the TSJ international accounting firm, has accused West of refusing to pay 18-months' worth of fees after St. John was brought on as his business manager in March of this year.

Los Angeles-based accountancy expert St. John claimed that when he confronted Kanye about the €300,000-per-month retainer fee, the rapper grew 'heated and aggressive' and began swearing at him.

The lawsuit states: 'He screamed at Mr. St. John and made clear he no longer wanted to work with him. When confronted by the 18-month commitment that had just been made, Mr. West stated words to the effect of 'The 18-month term was bulls***' and 'You’re insane for even thinking I would stick to it.’

Thomas St John

The new legal action also spells trouble for West as his lawyers at the Greenberg Traurig, one of the largest legal firms in the world, said they would be severing ties with him.

American media site The Blast obtained court documents which showed St. John secured an 18-month contract with West as “assurance that Defendants would not simply walk away from the business relationship.”

But the Irishman claims West did just that after only paying fees for the first three months of service.

The lawsuit also states that the rapper has an unpaid balance of €900,000 as of October, and will owe an additional €3.6 million by November 2023, when the 18-month contract was set to end.

TSJ explained that it was initially excited to work with West and had to turn down two other potential clients to work with the controversial rapper’s company Yeezy.

The Sunday World contacted Thomas St John’s Los Angeles office and spoke to his assistant. She said she would pass our call on. When asked to confirm he is from Ireland, she replied: “Yes he is.”

St John did not reply to an email request from us to him for further information. His official profile states: “Thomas St John is the founder of Thomas St John Group, the leading international tax, accounting and business management firm for sports and entertainment.

“He has a deep and extensive expertise in international tax, intellectual property rights, and cross border mergers and acquisitions. Thomas also provides advice for personal planning and business transactions for high-net-worth individuals which include world renowned sport and music personalities.

“Over the past 14 years, the firm has grown to more than 150 professionals based in Los Angeles, London, Amsterdam and future expansions in Sweden, Australia, and other countries. Even more, Thomas St John provides strategic advice – using global industry expertise, providing real clarity, helping plan and manage business’s and financials in the long term.”

St John has a BSc (Hons) Theoretical Physics from The University of Hertfordshire in England, and is a US Treasury Enrolled Agent and FSA (UK) Capital Markets Certificate holder (not active).

Locals in Tuam say Mr St John was spotted socialising in a well-known pub in the town in September, following the funeral of his father.

The separation between West and TSJ comes as the Gold Digger singer’s empire appears to be faltering over his anti-Semitic behaviour and comments, with his legal team Greenberg looking like they are going to drop him as a client.

'We are taking steps in response to the reported remarks in accordance with ethical obligations and court rules,' the American firm which was founded by three Jewish men, said Greenberg in a statement.

“We condemn anti-Semitism and all hate speech or bigotry, which is repugnant to the core values we believe in and live.”

Greenberg lawyers are currently defending the rapper and his businesses in a civil suit brought by New York-based Ultra International Music Publishing and in a federal suit by California performers hired to work on his 2019 Nebuchadnezzar opera.

Last weekend the rapper was embarrassingly escorted out of Skechers headquarters in California after showing up unannounced to pitch his Yeezy footwear and clothing brand, a day after being dropped by Adidas and having his songs banned by Peloton.

West’s fortune has dwindled to around €400m following recent controversies.

The 45-year-old was in a high-profile marriage to Kim Kardashian from 2014 until they divorced earlier this year.

The couple spent some of their honeymoon in 2014 Ireland, famously staying at Ballyfin Demesne in Co Laois, where they visited nearby cinemas in Portlaoise and Tullamore.

The couple, who have four children together, also spent part of their stay here at Castle Oliver in Ardpatrick, Co Limerick.

Their relationship fell apart after numerous outbursts by West, some of which appeared to have been in the midst of mental health breakdowns.

West’s other main Irish connection is he was U2’s support act on their 2005 Vertigo tour.

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