Kanye West sues the insurance company refusing to pay out on his canceled tour

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Kanye West has mental health issues. He’s talked about those issues in interviews, and he explores those issues in his music too. I would assume that when he’s well-medicated, Kanye lives a relatively productive and normal life. But he’s always had that self-destructive vein, that burn-it-all-to-the-ground nihilism, and the abrupt mood swings and more. Last year, after Kim Kardashian fell apart following the Paris robbery, Kanye fell apart soon after, while he was in the middle of his Saint Pablo Tour. He would rant and rave in the middle of shows, and he even turned up at Trump Tower and posed for photos with Trump. Three weeks after the election, Kanye was checking into the UCLA Neuropsychiatric Hospital Center. And now he’s suing the insurance company which insured his tour, because they don’t seem to believe that he had legit mental health problems?

From an infamous concert in San Jose, Calif., on Nov. 17 to a visit to Trump Tower a few weeks later, Kanye West had observers buzzing about his behavior last year. Even though he was hospitalized at the UCLA Neuropsychiatric Hospital Center around Thanksgiving, few knew the full extent of what West endured in the aftermath of a psychological breakdown. Now The Hollywood Reporter has obtained an explosive new $10 million lawsuit that details an extensive medical examination of the music star.

West is suing various syndicates of insurer Lloyd’s of London, alleging they are stalling on paying out claims emanating from a canceled tour. A loss claim was tendered just two days after West checked himself into a psychiatric center, but he and his company — Very Good Touring, Inc. — still have not been paid more than eight months later, according to the suit.

“Nor have they provided anything approaching a coherent explanation about why they have not paid, or any indication if they will ever pay or even make a coverage decision, implying that Kanye’s use of marijuana may provide them with a basis to deny the claim and retain the hundreds of thousands of dollars in insurance premiums paid by Very Good,” states a complaint filed Tuesday in California federal court. “The stalling is emblematic of a broader modus operandi of the insurers of never-ending post-claim underwriting where the insurers hunt for some contrived excuse not to pay.”

West originally planned a “Saint Pablo Tour” consisting of 38 events between Aug. 12 and Nov. 2, 2016. His managers reached out to Lloyd’s to get “peace of mind” in case cancelations needed to occur. The star made most of the dates but was forced to cancel two concerts when his wife, Kim Kardashian, was robbed at gunpoint in Paris, France on Oct. 2. (Indeed, he famously walked off stage when he learned of the incident.) Thanks to the success of the tour, though, additional dates were arranged. The second performance during this leg of the tour is where everything started to fall apart.

[From THR]

In Touch Weekly reports that Kanye had filmographers filming him almost-constantly in the days and weeks leading up to his breakdown and that the footage isn’t pretty, but ITW claims the footage has been provided to Lloyd’s of London as evidence of Yeezy’s breakdown. It comes down to this: do you think that Kanye was in anyway “faking it”? I do not. I don’t think this was a case where he was constantly high, drunk or on drugs – although many people with bipolar disorders do self-medicate with drugs and alcohol. I think it was just a case of stress – more than anything else – triggering Kanye’s worst issues.

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27 Responses to “Kanye West sues the insurance company refusing to pay out on his canceled tour”

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  1. Pandy says:

    Yeah, good luck with that Kanye.

    • Nem says:

      Will we be given detailed description of his financial breakdown a la Johnny depp ?
      He has already talked about big money problems and this could be his final demise with a divorce as i don’t think the Kardashians would want to pay this for him, what a mess.

  2. Nicole says:

    I actually don’t think he was faking it. I think a lot of things about Kanye is fake (esp since being involved with the biggest fake family around) his mental health is not one of them. After his mom died it was pretty apparent that he had some larger issues going on.

    • PauKay says:

      Most definitely. It is also all in the eyes. My brother had the same despondent look in his eyes when he went through his bouts of mental illness. I wish him well on the journey to mental health.

  3. Dumbledork says:

    I’m guessing the video showed Kanye doing drugs, maybe marijuana? Probably doing something that was written into the contract that was prohibited. If that’s the case, the insurance company likely has a strong case to void the contract.

  4. Melly says:

    Many (maybe even most) people with mental issues self medicate. I used to work with dual diagnosis patients (mental issues & substance abuse issues) and I’ve learned that they just go hand in hand. I found it to be especially true in the lower income African American communities I worked with, where access to & willingness to accept mental health care is much more difficult.

    • Nicole says:

      This this this this this. Exactly. AA are way less likely to see a mental health professional. I’m almost finished with my training to be a counselor and I see a therapist myself. I haven’t told my parents yet and it’s been 2.5 years.
      Had an undiagnosed illness for lord knows how long.

      • Crimson says:

        @Nicole: Imo, people of our parents age (but especially the generation before them) associate counseling with weakness. We need to continue to change that view to benefit those who follow: i.e. our children and our children’s children. It has already taken far too long. The stigma associated with mental health care must once and for all be diminished. (Sadly, with our current POTUS I don’t see increased emphasis on MH care happening.)

        Best wishes for your success personally and professionally.

      • Nicole says:

        Thank you Crimson. I was just thinking about my mental health yesterday (due to some unfortunate events) and how that plays into my personal and professional life. Its something I’m just learning to deal with and I haven’t worked up the courage to tell my parents. The judgement is something I fear but learning from my mentors that everyone goes to therapy in our profession has lessened that a bit.

    • Joss RED says:

      I have some “experience” dealing with mental issues on my mom’s side of the family, and to me, it seems that Kanye is a narcissistic with a superiority complex, period. There’s no treatment for narcissistic personality (that I know of), but therapy can help a lot with the superiority complex.

      But that’s my humble opinion, of course.

  5. Lolo86lf says:

    I do think he was exaggerating his symptoms so he could get paid for his canceled tour. Ranting and raving at his tours has been his trademark for years way back, and he went to see Trump to spite Jay Z and Beyonce.

  6. Wilma says:

    I don’t even remotely think he faked it, but he probably has given the insurance company enough things that they can use against him. Small print and so on.

    • Erica_V says:

      I’m trying to remember if his pleas for money on Twitter were around the same time he cancelled the tour or before it. Would an ins company be able to site those tweets as a possible motivation for a false insurance claim?

      I don’t think he was faking it either but the second his camp tried to downplay his issues in the media I remember thinking that could come back to bite him when it comes time for insurance payouts. If you say you have to cancel your tour for a mental breakdown and then publicly insist there was no breakdown I think they have the right to investigate that.

  7. Mindy_dopple says:

    If you are on medication for a pre-existing condition and you mix it with illegal drugs and then possibly stop taking the medication all together. The insurance company doesn’t pay, you violated the agreement set forth. I’m sure they can say it was negligence on his part that caused the breakdown and on the part of his team.

  8. LC says:

    There are a lot of negative things I could say about Kanye West, but I 100% believe that he has mental health issues and him cancelling his tour was what was best for his health.

  9. Jeesie says:

    I don’t think he was faking it.

    However I expect a contract like this would include an expectation that the performer goes into it genuinely believing themselves to be mentally and/or physically fit enough to complete it (so no signing the contract when you’re already off your meds or your voice is already failing) and that they at least attempt to improve their health before bailing. If they had physical problems, they would have to show that they’d been to the physio or throat doctor or whatever and tried to make things better. In Kanye’s case I imagine they wanted to see some evidence that he’d tried to get help first.

    • Tiffany :) says:

      Yes, I agree it is all about the contract.

      I know performers have to fill out disclosure forms for health when getting tour dates covered. If there are “pre-existing conditions”, insurance can insert clauses to not cover cancellations related to those conditions. I wonder if his application involved questions about mental health. If he was diagnosed before the tour and didn’t disclose to the insurer, that could hurt his claim.

      Also, as you point out, they could have wanted documentation that this was unavoidable and untreatable without cancellation. I think Lloyds would have a strong argument if he was on meds for mental health and was using substances that could interfere with those medications at the same time. Therefore, they could say it was not an unavoidable situation.

    • freewhitebaby7.0 says:

      One of the paradoxes about mental illness is that the person is often unable to recognize either that they are suffering from a break-down or that they need help. A psych patient not going for help shouldn’t have that held against them. And trust, I’m in no way a fan of Kenye or his in-laws.

  10. BobaFelty says:

    Legally, it all depends on the contract. Does it cover only in case of physical ailments/death or include mental health issues? It probably stipulates a given set of reasons why they’ll pay out if the tour is cancelled. Drug use, although common for self-medicating, may be prohibited unless it was medical marijuana prescribed by a doctor. Lloyd’s of London has a very good reputation and are one of the few insurance companies that takes on riskier clients. After this incident, it will be hard for him to find new tour insurance in the future.

  11. HannahF says:

    I’ve been both an inpatient and outpatient at NPH and my persnickety self has to correct the nomenclature. The hospital’s full name is The Stewart and Lynda Resnick Neuropsychiatric Hospital at UCLA. Typically it’s referred to as Resnick or NPH. It is located on the 4th floor of the Ronald Reagan UCLA Medical Center. (I even saw Kanye’s bodyguards crashing in the waiting area–although given that the units are locked I’m not sure why they were there.)

    As a fellow bipolar person, my gut reaction is that Kanye truly was/is mentally ill and thus the insurers should pay. However, my attorney self says we can’t really say without seeing the terms of the policy.

  12. Irulan says:

    I myself am diagnosed bi-polar and one of the biggies is you do not mix drugs and alcohol with your meds and another is half the time you feel like a zombie while on them and stop taking them and using other things to self-medicate so you actually feel or numb what is going on around you instead of walking around in a fog half the time. It took a very very time I’m talking several years for my meds to be adjusted to the point that I don’t feel in a fog anymore I feel human and normal for the most part.

    Now for insurance purposes I did read yesterday on TMZ much as I despise going there they usually get these issues right if he was doing illegal drugs say smoking pot etc. and its already written into his insurance that he is not to be consuming anything that is illegal or not legally prescribed for him they can deny the claim and its an insurance policy its their job to find any reason at all to not pay out on large policies such as these.

    I don’t think he is faking his mental illness watching someone fall completely apart whether you like or dislike the person is never amusing is never fun, etc. But if he did anything to make his mental health worse they can indeed reject it on these claims.

  13. Meg says:

    This is like the Lindsay Logan thing where it’s hard for me to think this is legit and is more about him having enablers than having real issues? Even Robert Downey jr didn’t have any empathy for Lohan

  14. Tessa says:

    I think what’s happening is not the company think he was faking it, rather he had drug induced psychosis