Lil Peep’s mother Liza Womack says her late son’s music label refuses to pay the $ 4 million owed to his estate – and it’s all part of a ‘transparent’ attempt to thwart his wrongful death and his commercial lawsuit against the company and its main boss. The label, First Access Entertainment, disputed the allegation in a court hearing on Tuesday, saying the emo rapper’s mother is the only one to blame for any delays.
“FAE is trying to stifle its funds by denying it its royalties which they know it owes it,” Womack’s attorney Paul A. Matiasic said in open court in Los Angeles on Tuesday. Matiasic says the $ 4 million past due to his client is royalty income from Peep’s music that FAE allegedly “admitted” owing to the estate. He also claims that his client’s relationship with FAE is woefully “dysfunctional” and in need of legal intervention as the parties attempt to work together on Peep’s musical legacy while engaging in a legal war over the matter. of his death and his intellectual property.
“It’s not true that it’s dysfunctional,” FAE lawyer John W. Amberg told the court. “It is also not true that FAE owes the estate more than $ 4 million. This is simply not true. It’s just an argument used to gain someone’s sympathy here.
Peep, real name Gustav Elijah Åhr, died on November 15, 2017 in the back of a tour bus in Tucson, Arizona, on the penultimate stop on his doomed North American tour. failure. His autopsy revealed lethal levels of fentanyl and Xanax in his system.
Although the FAE called the death a “self-inflicted drug overdose” from “street drugs he obtained from unknown sources,” Womack filed his wrongful death lawsuit in Los Angeles in October 2019. Its deposit took place seven months after Rolling stone published a comprehensive survey who re-enacted the drug-fueled culture of disarray that permeated the Come when you are sober tour and last days.
The lawsuit brought several allegations against FAE, tour manager Belinda Mercer and others, including breach of contract and “negligence, recklessness, recklessness and wrongdoing” which allegedly led to the death of Åhr. Womack says the defendants did not do their job when his son actively told them he was “anxious, stressed, overwhelmed, exhausted, exhausted and physically ill.”
“The defendants ignored these calls for help and instead pushed [him] on stage after stage in city after city, crisscrossing and supporting [him] with illegal drugs and non-prescribed controlled substances all along the way, ”says the prosecution.
A trial in the case was scheduled to begin in November, but the start date was pushed back this summer after the FAE counterattacked Womack for selling merchandise bearing his son’s name without his consent. The move paved the way for Womack to file his own cross-lawsuit in March, claiming that FAE and her boss Sarah Stennett “engaged in a cover-up” after Åhr’s death and “deliberately” withheld money while while simultaneously trying to “deprive” Womack of “any ability to gain from Gus’ legacy.
Womack and his lawyer are now pushing to separate commercial claims from wrongful death claims so that the former can be heard more quickly. FAE opposes the action. According to Amberg, it is Womack who causes problems in the trade relations, because FAE cannot “close” its books while it sells goods and negotiates external agreements. He says there is no urgency that requires a faster trial for the trade dispute.
Womack’s lawyer disagrees. “The fact that we don’t have our day in court [in November] allows FAE to continue withholding money. We think they are woefully undercapitalized, we think they have mixed up the funds that are owed to the estate, and we are very worried that they are going to waste that money, ”Matiasic said during the hearing on Tuesday. .
“It seems to me that there is merit in solving trade problems,” said Justice Teresa A. Beaudet. “It will take time to manage the [wrongful death] tort case. We are just trying to improve the delay that is going to be inevitable so that the parties do not trample on each other in the business world.
Justice Beaudet ended Tuesday’s hearing by telling Womack’s lawyer that if he wants the court to divide the case into several parts, he must prepare a motion by the next hearing date. October 12.