In an interview with Entertainment Tonight, West, 44, said he was outside the Soho Warehouse at 3 a.m. on Thursday when a man who had been tailing him in recent days for autographs allegedly provoked him.
‘I’m saying, ‘You don’t know what I’m dealing with right now,’ West said, snapping at the unidentified man.
‘I just finished these two songs, I came from the studio, and this dude, he just had this real attitude, like, ‘What you gonna do? And see that?’
‘Imma just tell you, that blue COVID mask ain’t stop that knockout, you know what I’m saying?’
He added that he was upset at the time with estranged wife Kim Kardashian, who filed for a divorce and is now dating Pete Davidson, and at a cousin who failed to tell Kardashian he wanted to visit one of their children at school.
Kanye West was seen yelling at a cousin (left) after allegedly punching a fan three times and knocking him down on Thursday morning
West claims the man he punched was not a fan of his, but someone trying to make money by selling off autographs he got from the rapper on January 10.
‘This is the same as the paparazzi, this is not a fan. This is someone who is using your image, who probably never listened to your songs.’
Dramatic footage of the aftermath of the incident shows West screaming, ‘Get away from me’ at his cousin, who was trying to calm him down while the autograph seeker lies on the floor, clutching his head in pain.
Witnesses told TMZ that West punched the man twice in the head and once in the neck, striking him down and causing the fan to hit his head on the sidewalk.
His cousin could be heard telling the rapper, ‘I am your family,’ as she tried to take his hand and get him to relax.
‘No, get away from me! Ain’t no hands, ain’t no hands,’ West yells.
‘You were supposed to talk with her,’ he adds, now revealing that he was angry at his cousin for not telling his estranged wife Kim Kardashian that he wanted to visit their child at school.
He ultimately blamed his cousin for his bad mood that caused him to erupt in anger following the altercation, which was caught on video by confused bystanders.
He said he ultimately admitted to the attack because he was tired of the media’s portrayal of the incident and wanted to take control of the narrative.
‘This is from the horse’s mouth. I told you all before, y’all are not fit to be in charge of my narrative,’ West told Entertainment Tonight’s Jason Lee.
‘I told you before, I am taking my narrative. I am writing my narrative. Why don’t you all go do something, you know what I mean, other than trying to bring somebody down.’
The Los Angeles Police Department is currently investigating the case and have yet to make any arrests, but have named West a suspect.
Earlier in the evening of the incident, West had been out with his rumored new girlfriend Julia Fox at Delilah in West Hollywood for a star-studded dinner date after spending the evening with Madonna and Floyd Mayweather.
The group appeared to be in high spirits after Diana Ross’ son Evan Ross shared video footage of them on Instagram.
Kanye West and Julia Fox (left) were seen at Delilah nightclub in West Hollywood with Madonna and Floyd Mayweather (right) earlier in the evening prior to the alleged altercation
While it was previously reported that West’s new romance has gotten under the skin of his estranged wife Kim Kardashian, sources claimed she is happy to see the Donda artist smiling again.
West is no stranger to run-ins with the law. In 2014, he was arrested for assaulting a photographer at the Lost Angeles International Airport.
He was sentenced to 250 hours of community service, two years probation and 24 anger management sessions.
He was also arrested in 2008 for vandalism and battery over an altercation with two photographers at the same airport. The case was dismissed after he paid for one of the photographer’s broken equipment and agreed to attend anger management counseling.