An Attempt to Subpoena Drake at His Mansion for the XXXTentacion Trial Did Not Go Well
Drake’s lawyers are claiming the rapper still hasn’t been properly served a deposition subpoena in the XXXTentacion murder trial after a defense attorney claimed process servers were rebuffed by armed guards at the rapper’s Beverly Hills mansion last week.
On Monday, Feb. 20, Drake’s lawyer, Bradford Cohen, tried again to get the court to strike an order to show cause requiring Drake (real name Aubrey Graham) to sit for a deposition. The deposition is being sought by Mauricio Padilla, a defense attorney for one of the three suspects (Dedrick Williams), who’s suggested that Graham was somehow involved in XXXTentacion’s death. This is not a theory prosecutors have ever floated or given credence to, but Padilla has sought to raise doubts by highlighting an alleged feud between Graham and XXXTentacion (real name Jahseh Onfroy).
The latest development in this sideshow saga occurred last week after Graham’s lawyers first tried to quash the subpoena effort. But the judge ruled he would still have to partake in some fashion, setting a date for Feb. 24.
According to a Feb. 17 filing from Padilla, obtained by Rolling Stone, the judge said Cohen and Padilla would have to “work together to mutually agree to a time that was convenient to Mr. Graham, agree on parameters for topics discussed at deposition and even stated that he would consider sealing the deposition. The court explained the importance of balancing the rights of the defendants to investigate this first degree murder case properly with Aubrey Drake Graham’s privacy issue.”
On Feb. 14, process servers showed up at Drake’s house in Beverly Hills, where they were reportedly “greeted by armed guards who refused to accept service” and “closed the colossal gate in the process server’s face.” The process server allegedly posted the subpoena, only for one of the guards to “literally kick the subpoena down the long driveway” leading to Drake’s house.
“Apparently,” Padilla’s filing reads, “Drake’s staff believes that physically kicking the subpoena is a legally sound way of refusing service.”
Padilla’s filing even included transcribed audio of the conversation that took place between the process servers and Graham’s guards. During the back-and-forth, security repeatedly insisted the process servers had to get off Graham’s property and maintained that they were neither expecting any deliveries, nor authorized to accept anything. In trying to plead their case, one of the process server’s told the guards, “It is only a subpoena for a virtual deposition, it is not even like a lawsuit bro.”
After one final attempt to serve Graham, one of the process server’s said, “By the way, I like Drake.” To which the guard replied, “I am not accepting anything.”
Along with trying to serve Drake, Padilla claimed a subpoena was also served to Cohen, asking him if he would “accept service on behalf of” Graham. Cohen allegedly refused service, but “mentioned possibly asking for attorney’s fees, the metaphorical equivalent to kicking the subpoena down the driveway.”
In his Feb. 20 response filing, Cohen called Padilla’s requests to expedite the deposition “quite simply, legally unsound.” He insisted that the subpoena brought to Graham’s house was not properly served in compliance with California law, arguing that not only was he — despite being Graham’s lawyer — not authorized to accept service, but neither were the guards.
Cohen went on to argue that sanctions against Padilla were warranted because of these alleged infractions. “[C]ounsel for the Defendant’s only logical motive in moving for an order to show cause a second time would have been to inject celebrity spectacle into an otherwise routine trial and generate headlines in the news,” Cohen said, before asking the court to make Padilla pay Graham’s attorney fees.
Cohen did not immediately return Rolling Stone’s request for comment. Padilla declined to comment.