The advantage of a book, over a print article or video, is perspective. Books allow the author both time and space to develop, clarify, and present his, or her, story. It also allows the reader ample time to process the data. Does what I am reading make sense? Are the figures clear and precise? Whose version of the truth do I believe?
In a recently posted comment Noel says: “I don’t doubt the accuracy of your experiences with the state’s “experts” at the board. The question becomes how to move your journey forward because they do not have any interest in finding truth or making progress in this matter.”
A fantastic point because it speaks to the purpose of this book (and this serialization). It also points to a consideration on my part for writing a preface, introduction, and title. At some point, we all need to have some idea of where this is all heading.
Philosophically, the crucial question is the distinction between that “which is metaphysically given; and any object, institution, procedure, or rule of conduct made by man”. The point: the metaphysically given must be accepted; it cannot be changed. The man-made on the other hand must never be accepted (at least not uncritically); it must be judged, accepted or rejected, and changed when necessary.
Concerning the board and the other actors in this saga, the issue is actually quite simple. I have no intentions whatsoever of changing anyone’s opinion or pointing fingers. I merely intend to present the facts. Let each reader digest those facts to discover his truth. What I do believe however is that when people do horrible things under the cover of darkness, the worst thing one can do is leave off the light.
In the first few “chapters” I wanted to set the stage. It was not to single out any particular culprit. My goal was only to look at what was said and done (and by whom) to get the story out there the way it was originally told, and then to document the accuracy of those statements.
Chapter one looked at the corner’s report, chapter two looked at some members of the press, and chapter three introduced the Medical Board of California. (If you are new to our conversation, please take a look at those posts in the archives.)
Looking forward, it is also important to look at the lawyers involved and what they did, and finally (and perhaps most importantly) to look at myself.
Noel’s point is fantastic because the story, the benefit to the reader, is not what these people did, but who I decided and chose to be in response to what they did.
This is a book about discarding those things in life which do not speak to who you are, or who you want to be. It is both an illustration and a guide for getting back on track after you have taken a fall, or experienced a setback. Every life will have its problems, for that is the nature of living. Yet survival, and ultimately happiness, lay not in what got you there, but what you do to get out.
Therefore, this book is also about taking steps to inspire the best in you. It is about lessons learned and taught from a life that is inspired by love and guided by knowledge, a mother’s life.
I will also look at the information age gone drastically wrong, and the “electronic lynching” of an innocent man that occured as a result. What took place following the death of Donda West is fundamentally no different than the lynchings in the south that took place at the height of the Ku Klux Klan -except, that in this case, a group of black folks on the radio, in the press, and on the internet joined in to assist in commiting and covering-up (whether they were aware of it or not) the crime.
It is about the behavior of family members, how the media chose to tell the story, the actions of the attorneys involved, and the response of the authorities to all this and the effect it had on me and my life. Most importantly, it is about what it took to turn all of that around. It is about turning tragedy into triumph.
There are no victims in God’s world. Each calamity is merely a set of circumstances we all bring to ourselves so that we can create, in that moment, who we want to be. Ultimately, that is the purpose of life.
I will document the things I have to say. There will be no heresay here. For many of the participants that will be painful and embarrassing. For others it will expose their hypocrisy and demonstrate their evil. Some will even feel remorse, though there will be those who continue to deny the truth in the face of overwhelming data. These people are sick and deserve our compassion.
Practically, in moving forward the formula too is easy: set realistic goals, develop plans to get there, and take action.
That is what I did (and am doing) and frankly this work, this book, is part of that process.
Back to our Story:
At times our search for the truth might, and can be, tedious. This is precisely that time. A lot of different things, perpetrated by a lot of different players, were happening simultaneously. Everyone was coming at me at once. Each had his or her own agenda. To clearly understand what was going on, we can’t just look at each incident as it occurred (a lot was happening behind the scenes), we also have to consider “side bars” that initially may seem to offer little, but once examined, shed light where we may not even have thought to look.
I walked-off of Larry King Live (at the request of the West family). But before I had consented to appear on the show, I had consulted not only with my attorney, I had also discussed with Brad Rose, “the litigation attorney for the estate of Donda West and the surviving family members” my intentions. We, Rose and I, agreed I had a right, separate from the Donda West matter, to answer charges to my reputation. After all, he is an entertainment lawyer and understands the importance of reputation.
But in order to clearly understand the deviousness of this character, this Brad Rose, we have to first get a grip on where he came from:
Kanye West’s attorney is a woman named Alison Finley. She is a partner at Davis, Shapiro, Lewit, and Hayes, LLP, an entertainment law firm in New York City specializing in the music industry. Kanye is just one of the artists on Finley’s register of clients. (I have never spoken with Ms. Finley.)
Following the death of Donda West, Ms. Finley apparently secured the services of Brad Rose at Pryor Cashman LLP, who introduced himself to me as the “litigation attorney”. (And, just for the unindoctrinated, Mr. Rose’s introduction as such was a threat on his part. Mr Rose is the bully. You don’t call yourself “a litigation attorney” unless you intend to litigate.) Mr. Rose, though, acting as lead attorney, in turn, hired Edwin McPherson of McPherson and Associates, a Los Angeles firm, to “represent the family of Dr. Donda C. West”. (To be honest I was a bit confused on this because Brad Rose’s firm has offices in Los Angeles. But it turned out his services were obtained to protect the interests of Stephan Scoggins. According to Mr. McPherson that is who his client was.) Mr. McPherson, being an entertainment lawyer himself, secured the services of a John D. Harwell because of his “relationship” with the Medical Board of California.
This all happened within days of Donda West’s death. At this point her body hasn’t even been picked up from the hospital by the Coroner. No one, I mean no one, (that is, no one but Scoggins, Rose, and I) had any idea of what had happened to Donda. I don’t even have a lawyer yet and so, it is important at this time to ask two questions: First, why did the family of Donda West need a lawyer? And secondly, since Pryor Cashman LLP in New York has an office in Los Angeles, why did they need to hire McPherson? McPherson is also an entertainment attorney. He does the same things they do.
The answer, though you would never get it unless you were looking, is actually quite simple. Rose hired McPherson to represent Stephan Scoggins (that is the other family members to whom he is referring). I had discussed the entire matter with Rose. Knowing what he did about Scoggins negligence in the matter, he then hired Mcpherson (which I believe is clearly a conflict of interest) to help protect Scoggins, while at the same time distancing his firm in the event his ruse was detected. I know this to be true because I filed a complaint with the California Bar. I was concerned about the conflict of interest on the part of the attorneys. McPherson’s response was that he was protecting his client, and his client was: Stephan Scoggins.