Travis Scott’s offer to pay funeral expenses rejected: ‘This isn’t a photo-op story’
Travis Scott’s offer to pay funeral costs for Ezra Blount, the youngest victim of the Astroworld festival tragedy, has been rejected by the family of the late 9-year-old.
“Your client’s offer is declined. I have no doubt Mr. Scott feels remorse. His journey ahead will be painful. He must face and hopefully see that he bears some of the responsibility for this tragedy,” Blount family attorney Robert C. Hilliard wrote in a letter obtained by Rolling Stone. Hilliard did not respond immediately Tuesday to an inquiry from The Times.
Ezra, who lived in Dallas, was the 10th person to die after being injured in a crushing crowd while headliner Scott performed on the first night of the Astroworld music festival in Houston on Nov. 5. The second night was canceled, and Scott offered to refund all ticket fees.
Ezra Blount has become the youngest person to die from injuries sustained during a crowd surge at the Astroworld music festival in Houston.
Rolling Stone reported that the funeral-costs offer was sent last Wednesday — a day after Ezra’s Nov. 23 funeral — to Hilliard and co-counsel Ben Crump by L.A. attorney Daniel Petrocelli, who is representing the rapper.
In his offer letter, Petrocelli told the Blount family that acceptance of the gift would “have no effect” on their lawsuit seeking a minimum of $1 million from Scott and promoter Live Nation. The lawsuit is one of many filed against Astroworld performers, promoters and support staff.
Hilliard told Rolling Stone that Scott’s team had also contacted Crump to arrange an in-person meeting.
“We were pretty firm. With all due respect, no,” Hilliard said. “This isn’t a photo-op story here. This is a ‘who’s responsible and why’ type of investigation. And [Scott’s] on the short list.”
Houston’s long-razed AstroWorld theme park brought joy to people from across the city. Decades later, Astroworld the festival is inextricably linked to heartbreak.
Ezra’s father, Treston Blount, described what happened at the festival on a GoFundMe page started to raise money for the child’s medical bills and “anything that comes along with this tragedy.” As of Tuesday morning, more than $111,000 had been raised toward a $200,000 goal.
“I had my son on my shoulders awaiting drakes stage appearance I began to be crushed until I couldn’t breathe,” the elder Blount wrote on the website when Ezra was still alive and in a medically induced coma. “I passed out And I woke up and my son was gone.” He said he was certain his son was trampled.
Attorney Tony Buzbee filed suit on behalf of 125 victims of the Astroworld tragedy, including the family of 21-year-old Axel Acosta, who died at the concert.
Ezra, who suffered injuries, including severe damage to his brain, kidney and liver, died Nov. 14.
Eight people died and hundreds were injured in the Astroworld incident; two of the injured, including Ezra, died after the fact, bringing the total to 10. Houston police initially declared a “mass casualty” event at Astroworld at 9:38 p.m. that night, 32 minutes after Scott went onstage. The concert went on, and Scott completed his 25-song setlist at 10:15 p.m.
Authorities continue to investigate the deadly crowd surge at the Astroworld Festival as lawsuits against Travis Scott and Live Nation pile up.
A representative for Scott told The Times in a statement earlier this month: “Travis Scott and his team have been actively exploring routes of connection with each and every family affected by the tragedy through the appropriate liaisons. He is distraught by the situation and desperately wishes to share his condolences and provide aid to them as soon as possible, but wants to remain respectful of each family’s wishes on how they’d best like to be connected.”
Times staff writer August Brown and the Associated Press contributed to this report.
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