Adidas is launching an investigation into allegations of misconduct against Kanye West, with whom the company had a partnership that it ended in October.
In a statement released on Thursday, Adidas said: “It is currently unclear whether the allegations made in an anonymous letter are true. However, we take these allegations very seriously and have taken the decision to immediately launch an independent investigation into the matter to address the allegations.”
The statement follows an article in Rolling Stone that said Adidas board members ignored inappropriate behavior by the rapper, who legally changed his name to Ye, in his partnership with his Yeezy brand.
Rolling Stone says it received a letter Tuesday from former Yeezy senior employees to members of its board of directors about “the toxic and chaotic environment Kanye West has created.” The letter went on to say, “This kind of reaction from a brand partner is one that Adidas employees should never be subjected to, and Adidas leadership should never tolerate.”
Adidas ended its partnership with Ye after he made a series of anti-Semitic remarks in recent months. In late October, West addressed the anti-Semitic comments — as well as what he said about George Floyd and Black Lives Matter — in an extended 16-minute video shared on YouTube by WmgLab Records, seemingly recorded at some point after Adidas ended its business relationship . with him.
“I think Adidas felt like everyone was fighting me that they had a right to just take my designs,” West told a small crowd.
In the video, West did not apologize for his anti-Semitic remarks, but appeared to try to distance himself from any “hate group.”
“I have no affiliation with any hate group,” West said, prayerfully closing his remarks. “If any hatred befalls a Jewish person, it will not be associated (gestures to oneself) because I demand that everyone walk in love.”
Adidas had been working with West since 2013, when the company signed its brand to rival Nike. In 2016, Adidas expanded its relationship with the rapper, calling it “the most important collaboration ever between a non-athlete and an athletic brand.”
West does not currently have an attorney or publicist representing him in this case.
— CNN’s Dan Heching contributed to this report