Astroworld tragedy: Family of 9-year-old Ezra Blount rejects Travis Scott’s offer to pay funeral expenses

0
31

The family of Astroworld Festival victim Ezra Blount has refused Travis Scott‘s offer to pay for the 9-year-old’s funeral.

“Your client’s offer is declined,” Robert C. Hilliard, an attorney representing Ezra’s father, Treston Blount, wrote in a letter obtained by Rolling Stone. “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.”

Hilliard said that at this time, Scott should “respect” that his “devastation” isn’t comparable to the family’s, which he likened to “a faucet of unimaginable pain that has no off handle.” He said the circumstances— amid the chaotic crowd surge at the Houston concert — on make it worse. “Treston cannot help but agonize over the terrible idea that Ezra’s last minutes were filled with terror, suffering, suffocation and worst of all surrounded by strangers, his dad unconscious underneath the uncontrolled crowd.”

Ezra Blount (Screenshot: Recovery of Ezra AstroFest/GoFundMe) Ezra Blount (Screenshot: Recovery of Ezra AstroFest/GoFundMe)

Ezra Blount’s family declined Travis Scott’s offer to cover funeral expenses. (Screenshot: Recovery of Ezra AstroFest/GoFundMe)

The attorney did, however, suggest in his letter that there is the possibility for healing in the future. 

“There may be, and I hope there is, redemption and growth for him on the other side of what this painful process will be — and perhaps one day, once time allows some healing for the victims and acceptance of responsibility by Mr. Scott and others, Treston and Mr. Scott might meet, as there is also healing in that,” Hilliard wrote.

Scott publicly offered to cover funeral expenses for all of the victims — of which Ezra was the 10th. On Nov. 24 — a day after Ezra’s funeral — the rapper’s new attorney Daniel Petrocelli reached out to Blount’s counsel to formally extend that offer.

HOUSTON, TEXAS - NOVEMBER 05: Travis Scott performs onstage during the third annual Astroworld Festival at NRG Park on November 05, 2021 in Houston, Texas. (Photo by Rick Kern/Getty Images)HOUSTON, TEXAS - NOVEMBER 05: Travis Scott performs onstage during the third annual Astroworld Festival at NRG Park on November 05, 2021 in Houston, Texas. (Photo by Rick Kern/Getty Images)

Travis Scott performs onstage during the third annual Astroworld Festival at NRG Park on November 05, 2021 in Houston, Texas. (Photo: Rick Kern/Getty Images)

Petrocelli, who represented Ronald Goldman’s father in the wrongful death trial case against O.J. Simpson, wrote in his letter that Scott was “devastated by the tragedy” and “grieves for the families.” It also said Scott was “committed to doing his part to help the families who have suffered and begin the long process of healing in the Houston community. Toward that end, Travis would like to pay for the funeral expenses for Mr. Blount’s son.”

Hilliard told Rolling Stone in an interview Monday that Scott’s camp also reached out to their co-counsel suggesting an in-person meeting.

“We were pretty firm,” Hilliard said. “With all due respect, no. This isn’t a photo-op story here. This is a ‘who’s responsible and why’ type of investigation. And he’s on the short list.”

Ezra attended the Nov. 5 music festival turned “mass casualty event” with his father. As Scott and musical guest Drake performed, there was a crowd crush and concertgoers were trampled. Ezra was on his dad’s shoulders for the show but they both fell during the chaos. Treston was unconscious and father and son were separated as on-scene medics tried to assist the injured. Meanwhile, the concert continued for 40 minutes after the chaos broke out. Scott, unaware of the extent of the tragedy, went to attend a show afterparty.

Ezra was initially hospitalized as a “John Doe” before his family located him, his grandparents said. He was on life support and then died of irreversible organ failure on Nov. 14. He was the 10th victim and the youngest.

Over 100 lawsuits have been filed with over 300 victims stemming from the Astroworld disaster including one by the Blount family against Scott, Live Nation and other festival organizers as defendants. Legal experts have predicted that damages could reach hundreds of millions of dollars.