190114 Travis Scott.
Travis Scott Image Credit: The Washington Post

Travis Scott’s attorneys recently battled lawyers for Astroworld victims in a Houston court after it was demanded that the rapper should be subject to a gag order that’s been imposed on lawyers working on the case.

According to The Hollywood Reporter, lawyers for the family of a young boy killed at the festival claimed that Scott has used the media, particularly his charitable initiative called Project HEAL, to try to win favour with potential jurors.

TAB 191111 Travis Scott-1573457062174
Travis Scott performs during the Astroworld Festival at NRG Stadium on November 9, 2019 in Houston, Texas. / AFP / SUZANNE CORDEIRO Image Credit: AFP

Meanwhile, Scott’s lawyers have said that his philanthropy is genuine and adding him to the gag order would violate his right to free speech.

In the March 11 filing, lawyers for the nine-year-old victim, Ezra Blount, stated that Scott must be prevented from carrying out a “highly sophisticated marketing campaign” and a “tone-deaf attempt to shift the narrative.”

They wrote: “They only ask the defendant Scott, and his full team, consider participating in good faith in the legal process, stop the continued attempts at media marketing and reputation repair, and just let the truth be discovered through the course of the judicial process.”

Travis Scott-1636435926984
Tracis Scott Image Credit: AFP

Seeking billions in potential damages, more than 2,800 concertgoers have sued Scott, Live Nation and other festival organisers over the Astroworld Festival, where a November 5 crowd crush incident during Scott’s performance left 10 dead and hundreds injured.

Last month, after all the cases had been combined, the judge had issued a so-called publicity order, barring attorneys involved in the lawsuit from talking about the case in ways that could potentially sway jurors.

On Wednesday, the Blount family’s attorneys filed an emergency motion demanding that Scott be added to that publicity order. They cited widespread media coverage the day before of Project HEAL, a $5 million charitable initiative launched by Scott.

Blount’s family claimed the promotion around Project HEAL was “designed to gain goodwill” and to hurt the victims’ “ability to obtain a fair trial in this case.”

Astroworld 1t-1639028197409
Travis Scott performs at Day 1 of the Astroworld Music Festival at NRG Park on Friday, Nov. 5, 2021, in Houston. (Photo by Amy Harris/Invision/AP) Image Credit: Amy Harris/Invision/AP

On Thursday, Scott’s attorneys responded by arguing that his philanthropic efforts had begun long before Astroworld. They also said that banning the rapper from talking about them would violate his free speech rights under the First Amendment.

As per The Hollywood Reporter, that filing led to the strongly-worded reply that arrived on Friday, in which one of the attorney’s representing the victims accused Scott’s side of “faux-outrage” over being called out for their “highly sophisticated marketing campaign.”