Adidas launches probe into misconduct allegations against Kanye West

Adidas said it initiated the probe after receiving an anonymous letter making several allegations against Kanye West.

 A pair of Yeezy shoes are seen in a Foot Locker store on the day Adidas terminated its partnership with the American rapper and designer Kanye West, now known as Ye, in Garden City, New York, US, October 25, 2022. (photo credit: REUTERS/SHANNON STAPLETON)
A pair of Yeezy shoes are seen in a Foot Locker store on the day Adidas terminated its partnership with the American rapper and designer Kanye West, now known as Ye, in Garden City, New York, US, October 25, 2022.
(photo credit: REUTERS/SHANNON STAPLETON)

Adidas on Thursday said it has launched an investigation into allegations of inappropriate behavior by Kanye West after the German sporting goods maker last month ended its partnership with the rapper and fashion designer.

Adidas said it initiated the probe after receiving an anonymous letter making several allegations against the musician, who now goes by Ye.

The investigation follows a report by Rolling Stone magazine that detailed alleged incidents of inappropriate behavior by Ye toward staff and prospective employees. Rolling Stone cited interviews with more than two dozen former Yeezy and Adidas staff.

What did the magazine write about?

According to the magazine, former members of the team sent an anonymous letter to Adidas in which they said senior leaders at the company were aware of Ye's behavior, but had turned a "blind eye" and "turned their moral compass off."

Rapper Kanye West makes a point as he holds his first rally in support of his presidential bid in North Charleston, South Carolina, US July 19, 2020. (credit: RANDALL HILL/REUTERS)Rapper Kanye West makes a point as he holds his first rally in support of his presidential bid in North Charleston, South Carolina, US July 19, 2020. (credit: RANDALL HILL/REUTERS)

"It is currently not clear whether the accusations made in an anonymous letter are true," an Adidas spokesperson said in a statement to Reuters.

"However, we take these allegations very seriously and have taken the decision to launch an independent investigation of the matter immediately to address the allegations."

Ye could not be immediately reached for comment. News of the probe was first reported by the Financial Times on Thursday.

According to the Financial Times, Germany's third-largest asset manager, Union Investment, wrote to Adidas on Thursday asking for more information about the claims.

Union Investment did not immediately respond to Reuters' request for comment.

Ye has courted controversy in recent months by publicly ending major corporate tie-ups and making outbursts on social media against other celebrities. His Twitter and Instagram accounts were restricted, with the social media platforms removing some of his posts that users condemned as antisemitic.