Is Travis Scott’s $5 million Project HEAL initiative a PR stunt to sway his lawsuit jurors?

By Alma Fabiani

Published Mar 30, 2022 at 11:53 AM

Reading time: 2 minutes

29551

On 9 March 2022, Travis Scott announced on Instagram that he had launched Project HEAL, a $5 million multi-tier initiative that aims to “take much needed action towards supporting real solutions that make all events the safest spaces they can possibly be,” among other youth-related matters. This followed the tragic event that took place during the rapper’s Astroworld festival on 5 November 2021, where ten attendees lost their lives, 13 ended up being hospitalised and around 300 others had to be treated on site.

Shortly after the shocking news broke out, hundreds of lawsuits were filed against Scott and Live Nation—the company responsible for organising the festival. These suits were then moved forward as one case, as formally granted by a Texas court panel in January 2022.

However, on 28 March 2022, attorneys for some of those killed and injured during the deadly music festival alleged in court that rapper Scott has violated a gag order—which requires an individual to refrain from making public comments—issued in lawsuits they have filed and claimed it was the rapper’s attempt to influence possible jurors and rebuild his reputation ahead of a potential trial.

“I will always honour the victims of the Astroworld tragedy who remain in my heart forever,” Scott wrote in his announcement’s caption on Instagram. “Giving back and creating opportunities for the youth is something I’ve always done and will continue to do as long as I have the chance. This program will be a catalyst to real change and I can’t wait to introduce the rest of the technology and ideas we’ve been working on. See you all so soon,” he continued.

View this post on Instagram

A post shared by flame (@travisscott)

Bob Hilliard, one of the attorneys representing the family of nine-year-old Ezra Blount, the youngest person to die from injuries during the concert, said during a court hearing on Monday that Scott used the power of his social media presence to address concert safety—one of the issues being debated by the lawsuits.

An attorney representing Scott named Stephen Brody rejected this claim, responding in court by pointing to the rapper’s history of working with charities. He stated, “To suggest somehow that speaking about those charitable initiatives […] runs afoul of the publicity order […] is certainly not something that would withstand scrutiny.” He further noted that any efforts to prevent the celebrity from speaking on this or any other concerns would be a violation of his constitutional right of free expression.

State District Judge Kristen Hawkins has previously said that lawyers could tell the media about factual issues that happen in court, but added that she didn’t want attorneys or others to make their cases in the court of public opinion and possibly influence the jury pool. Scott’s actions “did affect and dent the power of your order,” Hilliard recently told Hawkins.

At the time Project HEAL was announced, many—including some of the victims’ families—were quick to dismiss it as nothing more than a PR stunt aiming to save Scott’s ass. Tericia Blount, the grandmother of Ezra Blount, told Rolling Stone, “He’s pretty much trying to sway the jurors before they’re even assembled. He’s trying to make himself look good, but it doesn’t look that way to someone with our eyes. What we’re seeing is that he’s done wrong, and now he’s trying to be the good guy and trying to give his own verdict on safety.”

Scott and Live Nation are currently facing billions in potential damages in the Astroworld lawsuit.

Keep On Reading

By Abby Amoakuh

Woman inspired by Netflix docuseries Don’t F*ck With Cats butchers cat and man in brutal murder

By Abby Amoakuh

Jeanne du Barry movie director blasts Johnny Depp for inappropriate behaviour on set

By Abby Amoakuh

Drake responds to his nudes being leaked just hours ago

By Fatou Ferraro Mboup

O.J. Simpson’s father revealed to be a prominent gay drag queen called Mama Simpson

By Fatou Ferraro Mboup

Armie Hammer breaks silence on cannibal rumours and assault allegations in podcast interview

By Charlie Sawyer

Home Office to pay TikTok influencers up to £5K to warn migrants not to cross the Channel

By Abby Amoakuh

US university launches investigation after trans woman filmed and confronted in women’s bathroom

By Abby Amoakuh

Martin Freeman opens up about Miller’s Girl as Jenna Ortega responds to another controversial sex scene

By Abby Amoakuh

More than 30 female UK politicians targeted by deepfake porn campaign to humiliate them

By Charlie Sawyer

Doritos faces boycott over new trans brand ambassador’s alleged tweet about 12-year-old

By Abby Amoakuh

New Brandy Melville HBO documentary paints CEO Silvio Marsan as super creepy

By Abby Amoakuh

VICE obituary: How Gen Z will remember the millennial digital media titan

By Charlie Sawyer

Who is Claudia Sheinbaum, the scientist set to become Mexico’s first woman president?

By Abby Amoakuh

Industry insider accuses Kris Jenner’s boyfriend Corey Gamble of grooming Justin Bieber and more in wild interview

By Abby Amoakuh

Alabama Barker denies claims she has had a lot of plastic surgery in major clapback

By Abby Amoakuh

Making ordinary Russians pay for Putin’s aggressions? We take a look at the war’s impact on Russian civilians

By Charlie Sawyer

Gather around girlies: Here’s what to expect from the UK general election result

By Abby Amoakuh

What is girl therapy? The TikTok trend disguising middle-class consumerism as self-care to Gen Z

By Abby Amoakuh

Online adoption ads prey on pregnant women in actions reminiscent of the Baby Scoop era

By Charlie Sawyer

What is HYROX? The new Gen Z fitness craze that makes running clubs look mega boring