Publicist was ‘not associated with’ Kanye West when she pressured election worker - West spokesperson

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Fulton County election worker Ruby Freeman processes ballots in Atlanta, Georgia, U.S., on November 4, 2020. REUTERS/Brandon Bell

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Dec 12 (Reuters) - A publicist accused of pressuring a Georgia election worker to confess to false allegations of committing voting fraud was not “associated” with rap star Kanye West at the time she visited the worker, a representative for West said.

Reuters reported on Friday that the publicist, Trevian Kutti, met on Jan. 4 with Ruby Freeman, a Fulton County election worker who had been targeted by then-President Donald Trump and his allies with baseless claims that she processed fraudulent votes to favor Democrat Joe Biden.

Freeman told Reuters that Kutti tried to implicate her in election fraud and warned her that she could be arrested. Kutti also said the election worker faced unspecified “danger,” according to a police report. She sought to pressure Freeman into confessing in exchange for help, according to Freeman, who said she ended the conversation.

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A number of media reports have cited Kutti’s association with West since 2018.

Pierre Rougier, a spokesperson for West, said in a statement to Reuters on Sunday: “Trevian Kutti was not associated with Kanye West or any of his enterprises at the times of the facts that are reported in these articles or since these facts occurred.”

Rougier did not answer additional questions from Reuters on whether Kutti worked for West at other times, or whether West and Kutti knew one another. Before publishing Friday’s story, Reuters sought comment from a different representative for West but did not get a response.

Kutti did not respond to requests for comment made Sunday morning.

In October, the hip-hop artist changed his name from Kanye West to Ye.

A biography of Kutti described her as the founder of Trevian Worldwide, a media and entertainment advisory firm with offices in four cities. The biography, posted on the website of the Women’s Global Initiative, a business networking group, identified her as a member of “the Young Black Leadership Council under President Donald Trump.” It noted that, in September 2018, she “was secured as publicist to Kanye West” and “now serves as West’s Director of Operations.”

By Saturday, the bios of Kutti and other members of WGI’s team had been removed from the group’s website. The women’s initiative did not respond to requests for comment on Sunday.

Reuters has detailed a campaign of harassment and intimidation against Freeman and her daughter, Wandrea “Shaye” Moss, also a Fulton County election worker. The women received hundreds of threats and harassing messages after lawyers for Trump claimed in December 2020 that the women had pulled “suitcases” of fraudulent ballots from under a table on election night and fed them into vote tabulators.

The claims were quickly debunked by county and state election officials, who said the “suitcases” were standard ballot containers and the votes were properly counted.

Trump and his allies continued to falsely accuse the women of election fraud, sparking months of threats that they said upended their lives. Some angry Trump supporters visited Freeman’s home. The 62-year-old temporary election worker went into hiding.

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Reporting by Jason Szep and Linda So; editing by Brian Thevenot

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