Lil Peep’s Mother Settles Wrongful Death Lawsuit With Label
More than five years after Lil Peep’s death at age 21, the legal battle over responsibility for his fatal drug overdose has ended. According to a notice filed today in Los Angeles County Superior Court, the rapper’s mother, Liza Womack, has settled her wrongful death lawsuit against First Access Entertainment (FAE)—the management and label services company that worked with Peep, who was born Gustav Elijah Åhr.
Terms of the settlement were confidential, according to Womack’s lawyer, Paul Matiasic. “Liza has been indefatigable in her pursuit of justice for her son,” Matiasic told Pitchfork. “With the conclusion of the litigation, her focus will shift to shepherding his legacy and continuing to release his music for the enjoyment of his fans.”
The date of the settlement was February 14, according to the court filing. A trial had been scheduled to start on March 8.
A post on Lil Peep’s social media pages from earlier today reads:
Womack filed the lawsuit in October 2019, almost two years after Peep’s death. The complaint alleged wrongful death, negligence, and breach of contract against First Access Entertainment, manager Bryant Ortega, and tour manager Belinda Mercer. Legal experts said at the time that the case had the potential to change the way the music industry views drugs. In January 2022, texts unsealed in court showed what Womack’s lawyers asserted was the “dysfunctional, ultimately lethal state” of the tour that Peep died in during 2017. A month later, Judge Teresa Beaudet ruled that the case against FAE and Mercer could go ahead, but dismissed most of the claims against Ortega.
Pitchfork has reached out to lawyers for FAE, Ortega, and Mercer for comment about the settlement notice. In court documents in 2021, Mercer denied causing Peep’s death “in any way.” Previously, FAE has called Womack’s lawsuit “groundless and offensive”; FAE CEO Sarah Stennett, through her attorney, has denied giving Peep any drugs; and Ortega has called the allegations against him “entirely baseless, misguided, and without merit.”
Lil Peep released just one proper studio album, Come Over When You’re Sober, Pt. 1, during his lifetime. The record’s sequel, Come Over When You’re Sober, Pt. 2, was shared posthumously, as was the compilation Everybody’s Everything.
In recent years, Liza Womack has been re-releasing her son’s self-released material, including Live Forever, Crybaby, and Hellboy. An archival song, “Runaway (OG Version),” was uploaded to streaming services today. (In 2018, a year before filing the wrongful death lawsuit, Womack directed the posthumous music video for Come Over When You’re Sober, Pt. 2’s “Runaway.”)