Friday, June 14, 2024

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Drake battling to be dismissed from Astroworld crowd crush lawsuits

Drake is fighting to be dismissed from the web of lawsuits linked to the fatal crowd crush horror at Travis Scott’s 2021 Astroworld festival.

The rapper, 37, was a surprise guest at the Houston festival was questioned for hours in a deposition tied to the hundreds of cases that have been filed in Harris County after the fan rush that caused the deaths of 10 people and left hundreds of others injured.

Drake was named in the lawsuits despite him stressing he had no involvement in the planning or the organisation and, according to Billboard, a new motion filed in Houston shows attorneys for the singer – born Aubrey Drake Graham – are arguing he should never have been involved in the cases.

The lawyers say Drake he had no involvement beyond being asking to join Travis, 32, on stage, and stated festival bosses had “confirmed under oath that Mr Graham was not involved in any planning”.

Attorneys also argued Drake was unaware of any safety problems before taking to the stage, stating: “Mr Graham did not receive any security briefings, was not informed of any crowd control issues, injuries or deaths in the crowd, or any stop show orders at any time either before or during his 14-minute performance.”

They added Drake instead “arrived at the venue at approximately 7.30pm and remained largely secluded backstage in a trailer until approximately 9.54pm”, before he was “informed to take the stage”.

Drake was then said to have “immediately” taken the stage “as requested”, performing for “approximately 14 minutes” before exiting the stage at 10.08pm.

Lawyers also said “hundreds of hours” of depositions and “hundreds of thousands of pages” had found no evidence Drake could be held liable for negligence.

They said: “Plaintiffs produce no evidence that Mr. Graham actually knew of any risk in the Festival site design and layout, competence or adequacy of Festival staffing and personnel, or emergency procedures such as show stop authority.”

The alleged victims will reportedly have a chance to respond to Drake’s motion in the weeks ahead.

Travis has said he was “absolutely devastated” by the festival tragedy, saying he will “always think about it”.

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