West, who has legally changed his name to Ye, faced intense backlash for a series of antisemitic remarks and incidents last year that eventually resulted in him being named 2022’s “Antisemite of the Year” by watchdog group StopAntisemitism.
Shortly before the controversy, West, an outspoken Christian who released the album Jesus is King in 2019, met with Cohen for a series of crisis management meetings, according to Raw Story article published on Tuesday.
Cohen, who is Jewish, told the outlet that he worked for West for “approximately four months” and did not detect any antisemitism from the rapper, who claimed that he was also Jewish at the time.
“During that time, I had gotten to know him well,” Cohen said. “Not once did Ye make or exhibit any antisemitic remarks. In fact, Ye remarked that he was Jewish.”
Newsweek reached out for additional comment to Cohen’s attorney via email on Tuesday.
West no longer has a publicist or agent, having been dropped by multiple representatives in the wake of last year’s controversy.
News of West’s purported past claim of being Jewish comes just after he issued a Hebrew-language public apology for antisemitism on Instagram.
“I sincerely apologize to the Jewish community,” West wrote in the post on Tuesday, which was made after all previous posts to his account were deleted. “It was not my intention to hurt or demean, and I deeply regret any pain I may have caused.”
“I am committed to starting with myself and learning from this experience to ensure greater sensitivity and understanding in the future,” he added. “Your forgiveness is important to me, and I am committed to making amends and promoting unity.”
Some responded to West’s apology with skepticism, arguing that his past behavior raises questions of credibility and pointing out that he did not recant his previous comments.
Earlier this month, West was criticized for wearing what appeared to be a black Ku Klux Klan-style hood at a listening party for a coming album. He also faced backlash for performing explicit lyrics at the event while accompanied by his young daughter North.
“How am I antisemitic? I just f***** a Jewish b****,” West rapped as North, 10, danced on stage alongside him at the event in Miami on December 12.
West was recorded days later in Las Vegas, Nevada, ranting about losing his sponsorship deals due to the controversy and proposing a “third party” including himself, Jesus Christ and Nazi leader Adolf Hitler, before urging fans to “sponsor” the union.
Variety reports that the coming album, Vultures, also features West rapping the following lines: “I still keep some Jews with me / Management? / Nah, I only let ’em do my jewelry.”