A Chicago publicist for hip-hop artist Kanye West visited the suburban home of Ruby Freeman, a terrified Georgia election worker who was facing death threats after being falsely accused of vote-rigging by former President Donald Trump. The publicist knocked and offered to assist.
Trevian Kutti, the visitor, gave her name but did not say whether she worked for West, a longtime billionaire friend of Trump. She claimed she was dispatched by a “high-profile individual,” whom she did not identify, to deliver an urgent message to Freeman: confess to Trump’s voter-fraud allegations, or people would come to her house in 48 hours and she would be arrested.
Freeman declined. This account of how a music mogul’s associate put pressure on a 62-year-old temporary election worker at the center of a Trump conspiracy theory is based on previously unreported police recordings and reports, legal filings, and Freeman’s first media interview since she was dragged into Trump’s attempt to reverse his election loss.
Her biography for her work at the Women’s Global Initiative, a business networking group, lists her as a member of “President Donald Trump’s Young Black Leadership Council.” It says she “was secured as Kanye West’s publicist in September 2018” and “now serves as West’s Director of Operations.”
When Kutti arrived at Freeman’s door on January 4, he dialed 911. She was wary of strangers by that point, according to Freeman.
Beginning on December 3, Trump and his campaign accused Freeman and her daughter, Wandrea “Shaye” Moss, of illegally counting phony mail-in ballots after retrieving them from mysterious suitcases while working on Election Day at the Voting Rights Institute.
However, Trump and his supporters continued to accuse Freeman and Moss of election tampering. Hundreds of threats and harassing messages were sent to them and their family members in response to the allegations. According to Freeman and a police report, by the time Kutti arrived, Freeman needed assistance but was cautious and wouldn’t open the door due to the threats.
So Freeman summoned a neighbor to come over and speak with Kutti, who was accompanied by an unidentified male. Kutti and the other visitor were both Black, like Freeman. Kutti informed the neighbor that Freeman was in danger and that she had been dispatched to help. Freeman stated that she was willing to meet with them. According to a 911 call recording, she asked Cobb County Police to send an officer to keep watch so she could go outside.
Kutti can be heard asking the officer for privacy at that point. The officer’s body camera did not record a clear recording of the conversation that ensued after he moved away from the two women. Over the next hour, Kutti and the man on the phone tried to persuade Freeman to implicate herself in voter fraud on Election Day. Kutti offered legal assistance in exchange, according to Freeman.
According to media reports, she has been working with the rapper since 2018, when she parted ways with R. Kelly, an R&B singer convicted in September of racketeering and sex trafficking charges. According to her bio, Kutti is the founder of Trevian Worldwide, a media and entertainment consulting firm with offices in four cities. Among her clients, she claims, are boxer Terence Crawford and Jordan’s Queen Rania Al Abdullah.
The meeting took place two months after West ended his failed presidential campaign, which drew media attention after several publications revealed that Trump allies and supporters were working on the ground to advance West’s campaign. Some Democrats saw West’s presidential bid as a ruse to divert Black votes away from Democrat Joe Biden. That charge was denied by groups assisting the rapper’s campaign.
On Jan. 5, the day after Freeman’s meeting with Kutti, a Federal Bureau of Investigation agent called her and urged her to leave her home of 20 years because it was unsafe, according to Freeman.
According to a defamation lawsuit Freeman and Moss filed last week against a far-right news site, Kutti’s prediction that people would descend on Freeman’s home in 48 hours proved correct the next day, Jan. 6. According to the lawsuit, Freeman left hours before a horde of enraged Trump supporters surrounded her home, shouting through bullhorns.