Rihanna filed a lawsuit against her accountants in Manhattan federal court for stealing millions of dollars from her since 2005, mishandling her finances and taxes—resulting in her being audited— and failing to pursue considerable amounts that she was owed for royalties.
Rihanna, 24, and her tour company, Tourihanna, is seeking unspecified compensatory damages and loss of earnings from the accountancy firm Berdon LLP and two former employees, Michael Mitnick and Peter Gounis.
In the suit, Rihanna, whose name is Robyn Fenty, is portrayed in the suit as a financial novice who became famous as a teen and relied heavily on her accountants. She began working with Berdon in 2005, when she was just 16, and “a minor with a booming music career and no knowledge or understanding of financial matters whatsoever.”
According to the lawsuit, the accountants concealed facts regarding her finances, and in a deal Rihanna’s lawyers called unusual, earned commissions based on a percentage of Rihanna’s gross receipts which were “exorbitant and expensive.”
One of the most eye-opening facts in the lawsuit was the estimation that between 2007 and 2010, the accountants earned 23 percent of gross tour receipts while Rihanna got 6 percent. The accountants said Rihanna lost millions during her “The Last Girl On Earth” tour, but still paid itself millions in fees.
After she walked away from Berdon, her “Loud” tour earned big money, alerting Rihanna and her team that Berdon had taken millions out of her pocket.
Nicki Minaj Gets defended by Will.i.am
Nicki Minaj’s still young music career has been plagued with criticism over her authenticity to hip hop. One artist who’s scribbled far outside the lines of hip hop is coming to Nicki’s defense. Will.i.Am tells Vibe,
“I’m proud of Nicki. You can’t listen to this stuff about not being real hip-hop. You gotta go and get it. Whatever the music is called that’s what it’s called whether it’s hip-hop, pop, rock, gospel or a freaking musical, who cares? Nicki is an artist and she is expressing herself. Why limit yourself?”
“Hip-Hop was broadening itself in the ‘90s,” he says. “You had A Tribe Called Quest and Death Row…you had Lauryn Hill singing and rapping. You had Too Short, Outkast, Nas and the Roots. Hip-Hop was broadening itself. Now hip-hop is limiting itself. If hip-hop is going to continue to limit people I say ‘F-ck hip-hop.’ It’s like the most unhealthiest community.”
“People should really be tripping off the fact that all of our hip-hop heroes are dying. Heavy D is dead and Erick Sermon recently had a heart attack. And we still talking about Nicki Minaj doing dance music? Get the f-ck out of here. I want Nicki to continue to show the world what hip-hop can be. It doesn’t have to always be about f-cking this stripper girl or getting money. I would rather be interested to hear what Chuck D thinks than some blogger or radio host.”