Travis Scott’s offer to pay for funerals turned down by more Astroworld victims’ families
Nine-year-old Ezra Blount‘s family isn’t the only group of relatives declining Travis Scott‘s offer to pay for funeral services in the aftermath of last month’s Astroworld concert tragedy.
Legal representatives for four of the victims’ families recently told Rolling Stone they’ve also rejected Scott’s offer. Attorneys speaking on behalf of the families of Astroworld concert victims Jacob Jurinek, Franco Patino, Axel Acosta, and 14-year-old John Hilgert characterized Scott’s gesture as more of a public relations tactic than a sincere act of compassion, according to the magazine.
“It was not an offer [the Hilgerts] were going to seriously consider,” attorney Richard Mithoff, who represents Hilgert’s family, told Rolling Stone. “Of all the things this case is about, that’s the least of any concern.”
A total of 10 people have died as a result of injuries they received on Nov. 5 during day one of the planned two-day Astroworld music festival at NRG Stadium in Houston. Day two of the event was canceled after security personnel and other staffers lost control of the thousands who attended the previous day when many concertgoers rushed the stage.
The crowd surge trampled some attendees and caused others to pass out. Hundreds more were injured. More than 100 lawsuits have been filed in the wake of the tragedy.
Attorney Philip Corboy, who represents the families Jurinek and Patino, told Rolling Stone his clients “realized quickly that all [Scott] was trying to do was trying to lessen the public outcry on his case.”
“It took them each about three seconds to say ‘No, no no,’” Corboy told the magazine.
Acosta’s family attorney Tony Buzbee told Rolling Stone he received, but never returned, a call from one of Scott’s attorneys. He said the rapper should have given the victims’ families more time to process their grief and accepted responsibility for the tragedy instead of denying guilt.
“If you gave a sh– about these families, you wouldn’t have to put out a press release for everyone to see saying he’s willing to pay for a funeral,” Buzbee told Rolling Stone. “He says he feels sorry for them, but he’s quick to say it wasn’t his fault. He’s no different than any defendant pointing fingers to someone else.”
Buzbee said his clients don’t want funeral expenses from Scott. “Whatever we get from him we’re going to get through the court system,” he said.
Jurinek’s funeral took place at a funeral home in Naperville, Illinois, on Nov. 14. The business declined to tell theGrio the total cost of services it provided to Jurinek’s family.
Corboy noted that Scott’s former criminal attorney reached out to him before he received a follow-up contact from attorney Daniel Petrocelli, whom the rapper recently retained, per Reuters. He said Scott using lawyers as go-betweens instead of reaching out himself made the funeral services offer seem more contrived.
“If he’s trying to impress upon the families that he’s sincere and has concern for them and realize that funerals can be expensive, what Scott’s team did is not the way to do it,” Corboy told Rolling Stone. “You don’t get a piece of paper in the mail from a lawyer in Beverly Hills who says he represents Travis Scott. These families are raw right now; that lacks any personal touch.”
Mithoff, the attorney for Astroworld victim John Hilgert’s family, told Rolling Stone his clients have more pressing concerns than paying for funeral arrangements.
“This family is set on making change and ensuring this never happens at a concert again,” Hilgert told the magazine. “I find offering to pay for funerals frankly demeaning and really inappropriate to the magnitude of the tragedy that unfolded.”
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