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Wednesday, 26 October 2022 – American rapper, Kanye West could lose his billionaire status after being dropped by Adidas amid growing backlash over his anti-Semitic rants.
The rapper’s $220million annual deal with the German sports brand, which is worth $1.5billion in total, has been terminated after his controversial behaviour.
According to Forbes, West, 45, is set to lose his billionaire status after cutting ties with the sportswear giant – and is currently worth $2billion.
The rapper’s wealth could plummet to below $1billion after the termination of the brand, which comes after several other lucrative deals have been dropped.
Adidas announced that they would be terminating their partnership in a statement, with the sportswear maker having put its deal with Ye under review.
They claim that they made repeated efforts earlier this month ‘to privately resolve the situation.’
Adidas’ share price dropped more than 50 percent over the past six months and is expected to plunge even further in the wake of the announcement.
In a statement Adidas said: ‘Adidas does not tolerate antisemitism and any other sort of hate speech.
‘Ye’s recent comments and actions have been unacceptable, hateful and dangerous, and they violate the company’s values of diversity and inclusion, mutual respect and fairness.’
The company also claimed that cutting ties with the rapper is likely to have a ‘negative impact of up to €250 million on the company’s net income in 2022’.
The partnership began in 2013, after he let a collaboration with Nike, and was expected to be a ten-year-long production.
Before being dumped by the brand Kanye had already accused Adidas executives of ‘stealing’ his ideas.
West owns the Yeezy brand but Adidas pay him an annual royalty fee to sell the products.
West has faced criticism in recent weeks for his bizarre behavior, including introducing a series of shirts branded with ‘White Lives Matter’ at Paris Fashion week.
During an episode of the Drink Champs podcast with N.O.R.E, West claimed that George Floyd died from taking fentanyl and that Derek Chauvin’s knee ‘wasn’t even on his neck like that.’
Floyd’s family have since lodged a $250million lawsuit against the star over the comments, calling them ‘repugnant’ and saying he used ‘false statements’ to ‘promote his brands’.
West has had several high-flying partnerships dropped in the aftermath of making a series of anti-Semitic outbursts. His deal with Balenciaga and Gap have fallen through, and the rapper was yesterday dropped by talent agency CAA.
Kanye also made the incorrect claim that he is the ‘richest black man in American history’ – a title that belongs to Vista Equity’s Robert F. Smith.
He said: ‘A lot of this stuff for me as the richest black man in American history, that put $140million in JP Morgan, and never even had a chance to… not even get to deal with them. We’ll speak at a different time.’