Entertainment

Adidas launches investigation into misconduct allegations against Kanye West

Adidas has launched an investigation into allegations of inappropriate behavior against Ye, the rapper formerly known as Kanye West, the German athletics brand announced on Thursday.

Adidas, one of several companies that cut ties with Ye after the artist made a series of anti-Semitic remarks, said it launched the investigation after reading an anonymous letter alleging allegations against him.

“It is currently not clear whether the allegations in an anonymous letter are true,” Adidas said in a statement. “However, we take these allegations very seriously and have made the decision to immediately launch an independent investigation into the matter to address the allegations.”

The announcement comes after Rolling Stone magazine published detailed allegations of incidents of inappropriate behavior by Ye towards staff members and prospective employees, including allegations that the rapper showed nude photos of his ex-wife Kim Kardashian to employees.

The magazine reported that a number of former employees sent an anonymous letter to Adidas claiming senior leaders of the company are “turning a blind eye” to Ye’s behavior. NBC News has not seen or independently verified the letter.

NBC News was unable to immediately reach representatives for Ye.

In its statement, Adidas also noted its decision last month to cut ties with Ye following his anti-Semitic remarks.

“Adidas does not tolerate hate speech and offensive behavior and has therefore terminated its partnership with adidas Yeezy,” it said. “We have been and will continue to be actively engaged in conversations with our employees about the events leading up to our decision to terminate the partnership. They have our full support and as we work through the details of the termination.”

Balenciaga and prominent talent agency CAA were also among the companies that ended their relationship with Ye over his comments.

Adidas joined the decision after social media users began calling out the athletic brand after an anti-Semitic hate group hung a banner over a Los Angeles freeway reading “Kanye is right about the Jews” on Saturday. Local politicians, social media users and other celebrities also denounced the incident.

Ye also saw his Twitter and Instagram accounts temporarily blocked after posting anti-Semitic messages.

Documents reviewed by NBC News recently showed that Ye also paid a settlement to a former employee who alleged he had used anti-Semitic language in the workplace. Meanwhile, several people who had worked with the rapper or seen him in professional settings over the past five years said they had heard him praise Adolf Hitler or mention conspiracy theories about Jewish people.

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