Atlanta FX

Source: Guy D’Alema / Atlanta FX

The family of late podcaster Kevin Samuels has come out and said a recently established GoFundMe account allegedly created to pay for Samuels’ funeral costs is unrelated to him and a scam. Per TMZ, the family also refused any money raised by the campaign, which has since been shut down by GoFundMe. It was later revealed that Melanie King, a reputed acquaintance, and protégé of Samuels, was the person behind the GoFundMe. The Samuels family came out to say they have no knowledge of King, either, and they made it clear to distance themselves from her.

Since Samuels’ sudden passing on May 5, there have been many questions about the controversial YouTuber’s actual net worth. There were rumors aplenty that the 57-year-old, who popularized terms such as “average at best” and “high-value man,” actually died penniless and without any insurance policies to his name. But Samuels’ fellow YouTuber and attorney Dennis Spurling asserts his pal was “rich AF” and actually had some big deals in the works before his death.

“They’re trying to create a negative stereotype that he was broke,” Spurling said about the self-proclaimed lifestyle consultant. “The truth is that Kevin Samuels had amassed more worth than some of these media publications that are making these foolish allegations.”

Samuels’ content was often considered polarizing and divisive by a large contingent of Black men and women. Some people feel that his messages drove a wedge between the two sides, whereas others believed Samuels was raw and unfiltered only because he sought to raise the standards of expectations for men and women. And this difference in perception is very evident in how some Black men are treating news of Samuels’ death.

Chicago rapper Bandman Kevo honored Samuels by having an image of “The Godfather” tattooed on his body. By contrast, Pastor Jamal Bryant used his sermon this past Sunday to attack Samuels, although never mentioning him by name.

“How can a man say that you are of low value after 35? How can a man say that you don’t have the level of traction of a high-powered man when that man has to get a GoFundMe for his funeral?” Bryant asked the congregation of Georgia’s New Birth Missionary Baptist Church. And there were some crowd members cheering him on, in clear support of his message. But Bryant’s own dodgy relationship history left others in the audience confused. And musicians Omarion and T.I. disagreed with Bryant using the pulpit to tear down Samuels as well.

“It’s sad when people can’t respect “the family” after losing a loved one,” Omarion wrote on Instagram, denouncing Bryant’s sermon. “He’s no longer here. Why add insult to injury? What about the people that loved him- like his mom?”

“This is disgusting & wack asf. Regardless of his views, he didn’t kill nobody,” the 37-year-old R&B crooner added. “We all need to have more compassion. This is why I don’t attend these “fake” places of worship. Respectfully.”

T.I., who’d sat with Samuels for his own podcast ExpediTIously, plans to drop a special unreleased show he did with Samuels. He also took issue with Bryant’s comments. “I can’t stand it, I can’t stand it. I ain’t gon’ let y’all bully this dead man. We gon’ let [Samuels] rest in peace,” T.I. said on his IG page. “Whatever he did, he did it and [he’s] gone… That’s between him and God. Him and the Lord gon’ have to deal with it. You ain’t got no heaven or hell to put him in,” added the lyricist.

So Pastor Bryant uploaded a new post to IG on Monday, looking to make amends for his remarks and said he made no excuses for his remarks. “I extend my deepest condolences and apologies to #kevinsamuels family and friends,” the minister captioned his video. “Thank you to all who purposed to keep me accountable. We grow from mistakes and birth maturity. Humility will always defeat arrogance. We grow as we go!”