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Kanye West’s Private Academy Made Students Eat a Sushi-Only Diet, According to a New Lawsuit

Two former teachers brought the suit against the embattled musician.

Kanye West M. Tran/FilmMagic

Kanye “Ye” West’s balance sheet isn’t looking so good these days. The rapper and entrepreneur who lost multiple brand partnerships after his anti-semitic comments late last year is now facing legal action from two employees at his private Christian school, Donda Academy, and the details of the lawsuit include some fascinating details about how the Graduation rapper spent his money.

Teachers Cecilia Hailey and Chekarey Byers filed the lawsuit against West, Donda Academy, and the school’s directors, alleging racial discrimination and wrongful termination after being fired in March 2023. The lawsuit claims that their wages were illegally withheld, that their firing was a retaliatory act for reporting code violations, and that they experienced racial discrimination during their employment at the school. Per documents acquired by Page Six and TMZ, one of the issues Hailey and Byers flagged was the sustenance offered to Donda students: only one meal per day, and only sushi.

The legal documents claim that West was spending $10,000 every week on sushi for Donda students, and that they weren’t allowed to bring in any outside food or drink other than water. West reportedly didn’t want the students to use forks or other utensils: he also allegedly banned chairs, offering only a few foam cushions for seating per classroom, didn’t allow artwork to be hung on the walls, and didn’t allow crossword puzzles or coloring sheets. Children also allegedly weren’t allowed outside during the day, and took both lunch and recess inside the building.

CHATSWORTH, CA-OCTOBER 27, 2022: Overall shows the Donda Academy on Nordoff Pl. in Chatsworth, a private school founded by the artist formerly known as Kanye West. (Mel Melcon / Los Angeles Times via Getty Images)
Donda Academy Mel Melcon / Los Angeles Times via Getty Images

Neither Page Six nor TMZ was able to reach West for comment on the lawsuit. After being dropped by Adidas and Balenciaga, as well as his managers and agent, over his anti-Semitic comments, West’s fortune has precipitously dropped, and Donda Academy was briefly closed in the fall amid the height of the backlash against him. Forbes estimates that West’s net worth has fallen from $2 billion to $400 million since the autumn.

In a statement, Byers expressed extreme disappointment in how her experience working at Donda Academy played out: “It was such a huge honor and privilege to work at Donda Academy for Kanye West. I’m a huge Kanye fan,” she said, per Page Six. “But while his vision for the school sounds great on paper, it’s just pure chaos and mutiny. It’s like a mental hospital being run by the patients.”

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