Kanye West says US government froze his bank accounts
Rapper Kanye ‘Ye’ West has claimed that the US Internal Revenue Service (IRS) froze his bank accounts, blocking access to $75 million because of alleged tax liabilities. He suggested that he’s being persecuted for expressing incendiary opinions about Jewish people.
“I’m talking about literally finding out that they were trying to put me in prison,” West said on Monday night’s Timcast IRL podcast, recounting his telephone conversation with a financial adviser earlier in the day. “They put a $75 million hold on four of my accounts. And then they said, ‘You owe a lot of taxes.’ It took me like six hours to find out what ‘a lot’ was. They said, ‘Well, around $50 million.’”
West said he was relieved to find out that he could still run for president in 2024, even if he’s imprisoned for tax evasion. He defended his past comments about the influence wielded by Jewish people in the entertainment industry, at one point comparing himself to civil rights leader Martin Luther King Jr.
“No one’s going to denounce the fact that they tried to lock me up….” West said. “I thought I was more Malcolm X, but I found out I’m more MLK because as I’m getting hosed down every day by the press and financially, I’m just standing there. When I found out that they tried to put me in jail, it was like a dog was biting my arm, and I almost shed a tear. Almost.”
Just last week, the embattled entertainer and fashion entrepreneur alleged that Adidas had got JPMorgan Chase to freeze his accounts. West is embroiled in a legal dispute after Adidas cut ties with him amid controversy over his anti-Semitic comments. Adidas has sued West to recover $275 million in marketing funds related to their Yeezy venture.
“I went from being a multibillionaire to not being able to use my Apple Pay,” West told celebrity gossip outlet X17 last week. “Four nights ago I couldn’t use my Apple Pay because somehow Adidas was able to legally go in and freeze my money.
“When I see this, I think, if this could happen to me, this could happen to other Americans. And for what? You know, this could happen to an American that didn’t even steal anything, that didn’t even hurt anyone. This could just happen to you for saying the wrong idea out loud, for expressing yourself.”