Meek Mill has accused the Las Vegas casino The Cosmopolitan of “extreme racist” behavior after he was turned away and threatened with trespassing.
Th Philadelphia rapper shared video of the alleged incident in which a member of The Cosmopolitan’s security staff can be seen refusing Meek Mill’s entry into the venue. “So here’s the deal, right,” the security guard says, “we’re a private property; at this time, with the information we have, we’re refusing to do business with you. We have the right to do that.”
In a second video obtained by TMZ, a second staffer threatens to call the police on the grounds of trespassing. “If you do not leave these premises immediately, you will be subject to arrest for a misdemeanor,” the man says. “Your subsequent return to these premises after being duly warned not to, will subject you to arrest for trespassing.”
In response to the incident, Meek Mill’s lawyer, Joe Tacopina, has sent a letter to Anthony Pearl, general counsel and chief compliance officer for The Cosmopolitan, threatening legal recourse unless Meek Mill receives an apology and immediate access into the venue. Tacopina also alleges The Cosmopolitan of maintaining “a list of African American recording artists who should be denied access for no other reason than their culture and skin color,” to which Tacopina adds, “Such course of conduct constitutes discrimination per se, in violation of state and federal law, and exposes you to significant monetary damages.” You can read the full letter below (via Pitchfork).
Please be advised the our firm represents performing artist Robert Williams, known professionally as Meek Mill. It has come to our attention that your hotel, through its security personnel, brazenly denied access to Mr. Williams without just cause. In fact, the incident of his exclusion was captured on a recording. And, evidenced thereby, despite inquiring as to the reason for his denied access, Mr. Williams was afforded no explanation whatsoever. Simply put, your security chief embarrassingly did not even know the reason for Mr. William’s denied entry.
Your hotel’s failure to provide a reason for singling our Mr. Williams is incredibly telling. In short, we have learned that the Cosmopolitan maintains a list of African American recording artists who should be denied access for no other reason than their culture and skin color. Such course of conduct constitutes discrimination per se, in violation of state and federal law, and exposes you to significant monetary damages.
In light of the foregoing, we urge you to promptly issue an apology to Mr. Williams and grant him immediate access. In the event you fail to heed this one and only warning, we intend to pursue all legal recourse against you.
In a statement to Pitchfork, representatives for The Cosmopolitan said, “As a matter of company policy, we do not comment on legal matters. Our guests’ safety and security always remains our top priority.”
Update – May 31st: The Cosmopolitan has issued a formal apology to Meek Mill. “We apologize to Meek Mill for how we handled the situation on Saturday, May 25, as we did not act in a respectful manner and were wrong. Meek Mill has not had any prior incidents on our property. The Cosmopolitan has zero tolerance for discrimination and we pride ourselves on providing an inclusive environment. We look forward to welcoming Meek Mill back to the resort.”
Through his attorney, Meek Mill said he appreciates The Cosmopolitan’s apology and “will no longer pursue legal recourse at this time.”