Mary J. Blige’s Foundation Sued for Shady Business Dealings
Mary J. Blige is famous for being generous with her wisdom, but apparently her charity is less than giving when it comes to doing business.
According to the NY Post, TD Bank is suing the Mary J. Blige and Steve Stoute Foundation for the Advancement of Women Now for $250,000 it took out back in June 2011.
In the suit, TD Bank claims that FFAWN promised to pay them back by December 2011. But when the time came to pay up, the organization had only $368.33 to give.
TD Bank also claims that they demanded payment in writing on both Feb. 7 and 29, but have yet to get a response from the foundation.
But this isn’t the first time FFAWN has had financial trouble. The foundation failed to file a federal tax return in 2010 and in 2011, several musicians from a 2011 fundraising gala sued the foundation for stiffing them on payment.
However, by all rights, FFAWN should have the money to pay up. After starting FFAWN in 2007, Blige ponied up $25,000 to her own charity in 2009, while Stoute contributed $35,000. Blige’s friends, Jay-Z and Jada Pinkett Smith, have both joined the group and in 2009, Jay contributed $25,000.
The organization has also received help from the likes of Gucci and Walmart, who shelled out $50,000 and $33,500 respectively. And Blige raised $60,000 for her group from the sales of her own fragrance, My Life.
However, a source close to FFAWN revealed that their were problems and that the organization had retained a charity consultant, a forensic accountant and a law firm specializing in nonprofits “to look into certain issues.”
On May 29, Blige issued a statement to TMZ explaining, “As founder and CEO of FFAWN, I am ultimately responsible for anything that goes wrong. The problem is that I didn’t have the right people in the right places doing the right things. This should have never been allowed to happen, but it did and now we are fixing it.”
Blige said she’s working tirelessly with a new team of experts to “get the Foundation back on track, rectify outstanding issues, and make good on all of FFAWN’s obligations.”
Hopefully, Blige can restore FFAWN’s name and eventually fix all of her foundation’s issues. But hers is not the only business to face public shame. Check out some other celebrities who were accused of shady business dealings. –nicholas robinson