Miami Man Says Birdman Made Him Work 70-Hour Weeks, Owes Him $154,000
A former employee of rapper Birdman claims he worked for years without pay at his lavish estate in Miami Beach.
Richard Alexander Caraballo via Wikimedia Commons/Google Maps
Rapper/mogul/respect-loving person Bryan "Birdman" Williams lives by his own code. He does not seem to travel anywhere without duffel-bags full of cash nearby at all times. On ESPN's "Highly Questionable" last month, he claimed to literally sleep on a bed made of $1 million. Considering how many people claim Birdman owes them millions of dollars, it kinda seems like he's rubbing their face in it.
The latest claim comes here, in a lawsuit filed in Miami-Dade County Court in May. An employee at Birdman's Palm Island mansion claims the mogul made him work 70-hour weeks for more than two years without paying him a dime.
The employee's claims are hardly the first allegation that Birdman doesn't pay his bills. Lil' Wayne, who once referred to Birdman as his "daddy" and routinely used to kiss him on the cheek, sued his mentor for $51 million in unpaid royalties in 2015. A solid third of the lyrics on Drake's "If You're Reading This, It's Too Late" were just veiled threats at Birdman's record label, Cash Money Records.
According to the latest suit, Miami-Dade resident Javier Nuno says he worked inside Birdman's house from September 2012 to February, 2015 — and in that time, he says Birdman agreed to pay him a $4,000-per-month salary, which amounted to roughly $25 an hour. (No word on whether Nuno was paid via duffel bag.) The suit doesn't explain what Nuno was doing for all those hours, but for the last 112 weeks of Nuno's "employment," he claims Birdman just straight-up didn't pay him at all, despite making "in excess of $500,000" per year.
Birdman's attorney has not yet responded to New Times' request for comment.
Nuno says that from January 1, 2013 all the way through February 23, 2015, Birdman forced him to work 70-hours each week. That's 10 hours a day, every day, for 112 straight weeks. He claims Birdman owes him $154,000 in unpaid wages — $129,000 in regular salary, plus $42,000 in overtime.
At some point during his two unpaid years working as Birdman's indentured servant, one would assume Nuno asked where his money was.
Then again, court records list Birdman's address as 70 Palm Avenue in Miami Beach — and judging from the photos, I would be plenty willing to apply for Nuno's old job, whatever it was.
I will trim your weeds, Birdman. I will grill you Tuscan paninis. I will play Rachmaninoff and caress you softly to sleep. Just let me live with you.
Update: After New Times published its initial article, Nuno's lawyers, Anthony M. Georges-Pierre and Anaeli C. Petisco, responded. If anything, the story gets even weirder: For example, they said they were unable to tell us exactly what Nuno did at Birdman's house. Petisco said Nuno performed "many responsibilities" for the rapper, and that his job wasn't "one cookie-cutter thing." Georges-Pierre said Nuno often slept at Birdman's home.
As for why Nuno worked for Birdman seven-days-a-week for more than two straight years without pay, Georges-Pierre said he assumed his client was starstruck for a while. "This guy's name is in the papers, he's a major player in the entertainment industry," Georges-Pierre said. "When you get into that environment, some people are willing to take a hit financially to be part of the entourage."
But when asked if Nuno actually was part of Birdman's "entourage," Georges-Pierre said no, but, again, refused to tell us what Nuno was actually doing every week.
Cryptically, the lawyer added that "as part of his services, the entourage would have been 'taken care of.'"
Here's Birdman's home on Palm Island.