Last week, before Travis Scott’s eight-hour deposition on Monday, September 18, attorneys for several plaintiffs in the hundreds of civil lawsuits against him filed an emergency motion compelling him to produce phone records regarding the Astroworld 2021 tragedy. Responding to the motion in a Friday, September 15 hearing, Scott’s attorney Steve Brody claimed Scott’s phone “fell off a boat in January of 2022 and landed somewhere at the bottom of the Gulf of Mexico and is not able to be retrieved,” according to a transcript reviewed by Rolling Stone.
In their motion, attorneys from the firms Arnold and Itkin, Roberts Markland, and Lyons and Simmons wrote that the defense attorneys representing Scott’s company Cactus Jack and his fellow Astroworld organizers Live Nation and ScoreMore have been difficult to deal with during the discovery process — sending documents late, rescheduling hearings at the last minute, etc. — but that they’ve at least played ball, for the most part. The conduct of Scott’s personal defense team, though, has been especially bad, they claimed.
“As frustrating as the conduct of many of the defendants have been, they have at least produced some documents comprising text messages, photos, and videos retrieved from images of their clients’, employees’, and agents’ phones,” the plaintiffs’ attorneys wrote. “Travis Scott and his team stand apart as having not produced a single text, WeChat communication, video, or photo from their phones — not because they don’t exist — but because his attorneys chose not to image or search their phones [despite] the order to do so by the court. If not ordered to bring themselves into compliance immediately, Mr. Scott will be deposed without anyone knowing what was said between he and his team via these means of communication.”
At the Friday hearing, Brody clarified his comments on Scott’s phone, claiming that his team had attempted to recover the records in question via Apple and Scott’s cell phone carrier but had been unable to do so. He cited “significant hacking concerns” to explain why Scott had not been backing up his records on the cloud.
“Now, looking back, yeah, in an ideal world his phone would have been imaged on November 6th or November 7th or November 8th,” Brody said, referring to the days immediately after the crowd crush that killed 10 people at Scott’s 2021 festival. Per Rolling Stone, the judge interjected at this point, noting that the imaging could have occurred at any date before the alleged boating mishap two months later.
After an extensive investigation by Houston police, the state of Texas chose not to prosecute Travis Scott for his role in the Astroworld 2021 crowd crush. As of April, however, more than 1,500 civil cases against Scott remained active. He’ll sit for two more depositions the first week of October, RS reports.
In response to a request for comment, Travis Scott’s representative Ted Anastasiou gave The FADER the following statement:
“Travis Scott and his team have nothing to hide and are cooperating with all ongoing civil legal proceedings. His actions during and after the festival demonstrate that he has done nothing wrong, as does the fact that he and his team were cleared following the investigation by the Houston Police Department.”