Last month, FAE accused the late rapper’s estate of breaching contracts. Now, Lil Peep’s estate is counter-claiming that these accusations are not significant to the wrongful death lawsuit.
On Nov. 15, 2017, Lil Peep, whose real name is Gustav Elijah Åhr, died of an overdose from Xanax and fentanyl on a tour bus outside of Tucson, Arizona. Then, in October 2019, Liza Womack, Peep’s mother and estate administrator, sued FAE for the wrongful death of her son.
In the filing, Womack claimed that his label set him up with unfair contracts and eventually contributed to his death. Womack alleged that the company pushed her son into “asymmetrical” joint-venture business agreements. As well, they breached its contracts by not ensuring his safety and well being. She also accused the company of “plying and propping him up” with drugs while under the supervision of his managers and agents.
In January 2020, FAE disputed the claims that they were negligent, breached contracts, and were in any way involved in the wrongful death of Lil Peep. Attorneys representing FAE Limited and FAE LLC — the U.K. and U.S. branches of the management company — said in a 44-page document that their contract with Lil Peep did not include anything regarding responsibility for the artist’s wellbeing.
The relationship between Lil Peep and the company was “purely of a business nature and not the type of special relationship giving rise to an independent duty of care for one’s safety and/or well-being,” the document said.
However, in July 2020, the case took another turn. According to Rolling Stone, Womack’s legal team amended their legal argument to make the case that various tour managers hired through FAE provided some of the drugs that contributed to Lil Peep’s death.
“At this stop, Decedent expressed a desire not to perform, which was met with an instruction by employees/ostensible agents of Defendants, including [tour managers Belinda] Mercer, [Daisy] Quin, and Stephen Paul that Decedent take an excessive amount of Xanax so as to make himself sick, which would in turn trigger insurance coverage of the cancellation,” the court filing says. “This Xanax that Decedent took at the direction and instruction of employees/agents/ostensible of Defendants … in the 24 hours preceding his death formed part of the lethal combination that killed him the following day.”
A judge went on to uphold all 10 causes of action that Womack accused against FAE. As well, a judge recently dismissed one cause of action against Mercer and manager Chase Ortega.
Now, it looks like FAE are hitting back with their own allegations. According to Rolling Stone, they are now accusing his estate of breaching contracts. In the joint-venture agreements with Lil Peep, it’s stipulated that FAE would get a significant cut of any merch revenue. In the years following his death, however, his estate released various posthumous merch lines.
Seeing as FAE was not involved in these ventures, the company now says the estate breached the contract agreements with Lil Peep. They claim the estate “acted maliciously, with ill will, and by wrongful or improper means to establish and operate a competing merchandise business.”
Since this filing was made in October, Womack’s legal time has dismissed the counter-claim. They state that these accusations do not pertain to the wrongful death of Lil Peep.
“The cross-complaint by FAE was a compulsory one and is fairly standard. Importantly, it does not deal with conduct prior to Gus’ death.”
Ortega, via his attorney, understands Womack’s determination to find out what really happened to her son. However, Ortega believes the lawsuit is “misguided.”
“Her lawsuit against me is entirely baseless, misguided, and without merit,” Ortega said. “I nonetheless wish her and her family well and I hope they find peace.”
What are your reactions to the ongoing wrongful death Lil Peep lawsuit? Let us know in the comments below.