First Access Entertainment has called a lawsuit brought against the company by Lil Peep’s mother Liza Womack as “groundless and offensive”.
As first reported by the New York Times on Tuesday (October 8), Womack has sued his former label & management company for negligence, breach of contract and wrongful death.
Lil Peep (aka Gustav Elijah Åhr) died from an overdose on tour in November 2017 aged 21.
The lawsuit, filed in Los Angeles County Superior Court, names First Access Entertainment chief executive Sarah Stennett and other members of Peep’s management team, including Bryant Ortega and tour manager Belinda Mercer.
The suit reportedly alleges that Peep’s deteriorating health was ignored and that although he was “stressed, overwhelmed, burnt out, exhausted and physically unwell,” he was pushed “onto stage after stage in city after city, plying and propping” him up with various substances.
“This is something that I must do as a mother,” Womack told the New York Times.
“What Gus had to live through is actually horrifying to me, and I’m sure he’s not the only person his age in this situation.”
In a statement (see below) sent to Variety on Tuesday evening, First Access said that “Lil Peep’s death from an accidental drug overdose was a terrible tragedy”.
The company added however, that the claim that it or “any of its employees, or Chase Ortega, or anyone else under [its] auspices was somehow responsible for, complicit in, or contributed to his death is categorically untrue”.
“Lil Peep’s death from an accidental drug overdose was a terrible tragedy. However, the claim that First Access Entertainment, any of its employees, or Chase Ortega, or anyone else under our auspices was somehow responsible for, complicit in, or contributed to his death is categorically untrue. In fact, we consistently encouraged Peep to stop abusing drugs and to distance himself from the negative influence of the drug users and enablers with whom he chose to associate.
“It is extremely disappointing that Peep’s mother would file this meritless lawsuit, since she is well aware of the numerous efforts made by First Access and Chase Ortega to steer her son away from his concerning lifestyle choices. Unfortunately, in spite of our best efforts, he was an adult who made his own decisions and opted to follow a different, more destructive path.
“After comprehensively reviewing the facts, the Medical Examiner ruled that Peep’s death was accidental; likewise, the Tucson Police Department conducted a thorough investigation and concluded that his death was the result of an accidental overdose.
“While First Access is deeply saddened by Lil Peep’s untimely death, we will not hesitate to defend ourselves against this groundless and offensive lawsuit. We look forward to its swift dismissal.”Music Business Worldwide