"First off, there is no possibility of a defamation action here, because there would be no living plaintiff whose reputation has been damaged," Gutterman told NPR. "Libel and slander require a live plaintiff, and family members or surviving family members do not have standing to sue for defamation."
One possible path for this lawsuit, though, would be the the allegation of intentional infliction of emotional distress, Gutterman said — although it will be difficult to claim. "This requires the plaintiff to prove that the statements were intentional or reckless, outside the bounds of accepted decency and morality and causally-connected to some viable harm," he said. "This tort is often a difficult claim to collect on, especially with a media defendant."
However, proving this claim is not impossible; notably, Sandy Hook families successfully sued Alex Jones on this secondary tort in a recent civil trial in Connecticut.
Drink Champs has issued apologies for the episode
Ye's episode of Drink Champs was pulled earlier this week.
"Drink Champs prides itself on its ability to allow a free flow of ideas within the hip hop community," a representative for the program told The Hollywood Reporter." That being said, unfortunately, the recent interview with Kanye West contained false and hurtful information regarding the circumstances surrounding the murder of George Floyd."