First Access Entertainment, the company that helped guide the career of late rapper Lil Peep, has pushed back on a lawsuit brought by Peep's mother Liza Womack, who is suing First Access and Peep's touring company for wrongful death, breach of contract, and negligence.
In a statement provided to Variety, First Access calls the lawsuit "groundless and offensive," and claims the company attempted to steer Peep away from recreational drug use before the rapper died of a fatal overdose caused by fentanyl and Xanax in November 2017. "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."
Womack's lawsuit was revealed earlier this week. It names tour manager Belinda Mercer and Bryant “Chase” Ortega, a former member of Peep's management team, for unspecified damages. Her filing claims the defendants did not take his struggles with addiction seriously, provided him with drugs, and pushed him to perform despite failing health.
Read the full statement from First Access Entertainment below via Variety:
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.
Correction: An earlier version of this post incorrectly labelled First Access chief executive Sarah Stennett as a defendant in the suit. The original version of this piece also said that First Access Entertainment was Lil Peep's management company, when in fact they did not have a formal management agreement. We regret the error.