Travis Scott Accused of Violating Astroworld Festival Lawsuits Gag Order
Travis Scott is facing more legal trouble.
The Associated Press reports that the lawyers representing some of the victims who were hurt and killed at Scott's Astroworld Festival in November claim Scott violated a gag order in connection with their lawsuit. After Scott announced his Project HEAL initiative and donated $5 million to start it this month, attorneys claim this may help Scott's reputation and influence possible jurors before trials start.
Attorney Bob Hilliard, who is representing the family of 9-year-old Astroworld Fest victim Ezra Blount, told State District Judge Kristen Hawkins that Scott's open discussion of concert safety delayed the effect of her order. Hawkins had earlier asked that the roughly 500 lawsuits not be made public so as not to sway a potential jury.
“My team and I created Project HEAL to take much needed action towards supporting real solutions that make all events the safest spaces they can possibly be,” Scott wrote of his project upon its reveal. “I will always honor the victims of the Astroworld tragedy who remain in my heart forever.”
Scott's lawyer Stephen Brody said the initiative's announcement was not a violation of the gag order, but rather another in a line of charitable acts that "have been a constant in his life." Refusing to permit him to speak on the effort would violate his freedom of speech, Brody argues.
Lawyers hoped to reach an agreement on a modified gag order that would address concerns about reporters being able to adequately report on the case. “I look forward to seeing what proposals you come up with,” Hawkins said, per the AP.
The festival's crowd-crush killed ten individuals, ranging in age from 9 to 27, and injured 300 others. Blount's father Treston and mother reportedly asked the judge either to amend the gag order so that everyone involved in the lawsuits are barred from making public comments, or to remove it altogether. Scott's attorneys responded by stating that Blount's lawyer flouted the court order by "publicly disparaging" Scott.
“Hilliard’s bogus allegations fly in the face of logic,” said Scott spokesperson Stephanie Rawlings-Blake. “Travis’s support of charitable causes has been ongoing for years to help underprivileged young people graduate without debt, explore creative fields, and overcome mental health challenges.”