Malik Yusef took to Instagram to issue a formal statement and explanation for the alleged Plein scam, which he denied had any fraudulent activity.
“Contrary to reports in various media outlets there was no theft or fraud involved by my team or myself in the Philipp Plein’s New York Fashion Week event deal,” his statement began. “Kanye West and I discussed how to fund the nonprofit organization he commissioned me to start over a year ago called Donda Social. He was aware and gave me the greenlight to talk with Patagonia, Fashion Nova and Philipp Plein to co-design and create fashion t-shirts that would fill the world with positivity, in exchange for a 750-thousand-dollar donation to the nonprofit organization.”
Out of those designers, they chose to work with Plein, but eventually West wanted to back out, according to Yusef.
“As I found Kanye to be incapulant [sic] for unknown reasons, well before any media was contacted and these stories started circulating, I immediately contacted Philipp Plein and made him aware of Kanye’s intent to withdraw from the arrangement,” the statement continued. “At that time the 750-thousand dollars he donated was returned from the foundation, Kanye West and me.”
Yusef maintained that Plein was unaware of the situation and should “be held harmless.”
“…[He] only presented himself as a creative and financial resource to aid and assist Kanye and I with Donda Social,” he wrote.
He still plans on attending Plein’s fashion show and “working with Kanye.”
A rep for West didn’t immediately return our request for comment.
As Page Six previously reported, an associate and former friend of West’s contacted Plein, pretending to be the rapper’s rep and negotiating for him to “perform” at the show for roughly $1 million. A rep for Plein confirmed the company fell for the scam and made a deal with the faux rep.
On the contract, obtained by Page Six, the alleged conman forged West’s name and then had Plein wire $900,000 to an account in advance, which he emptied immediately, according to TMZ. Next to West’s forged signature was Yusef’s.
Page Six asked Yusef about his signature on the contract and the alleged forgery, and in response, Yusef seemed to deny signing any contract, telling us, “Ohhh really??? I also have a picture of a yeti riding a unicorn on a flat earth.”
West is not performing at Plein’s show, and the designer was left scrambling to find a new act.
Sources close to the situation told Page Six that West will probably pursue legal options.