It’s been a tough couple months for the Queen of Hip-Hop Soul…
According to the New York Post:
Mary J. is a deadbeat diva.
The New York music star’s charity is supposed to empower women but instead has no office, no phone number — and hundreds of thousands of dollars in missing donations.
It failed to file its federal tax returns for 2010, which were due last November, along with its annual state-charity registration. The charity has now been hit with two lawsuits — one claiming the group stiffed musicians at its 2011 fund-raising gala and another saying it defaulted on a $250,000 loan, The Post has learned.
Blige, known as the “queen of hip-hop soul,” touted the charity’s success on the “Today” show in late 2010, saying, “I sent 25 women to college.”
She was promoting her fragrance, My Life, which sold a record 60,000 bottles on the Home Shopping Network during its six-hour debut in 2010. One dollar from each sale was supposed to benefit The Mary J. Blige and Steve Stoute Foundation for the Advancement of Women Now, known as FFAWN.
Sounds like a good idea, ya know, helping women get their education. Unfortunately, there is one problem…
Where the $60,000 from the fragrance sale and other donations went is a mystery. The group’s 2010 annual report has nothing on its finances for that year.
And just months after the “Today” appearance, the charity began falling apart. It held a star-studded benefit concert on May 3, 2011, hosted by Queen — an honorary board member of the charity — and featuring appearances by Blige, Jennifer Hudson and Christina Aguilera.
When several of the band members who accompanied the stars went to get paid, the checks bounced, according to court papers.
“We got a whole series of checks — rubber,” said Harvey Mars, a lawyer representing 30 musicians and others.
A lawsuit filed in State Supreme Court in Manhattan this month claims the group is owed a total of $167,252 for wages and penalties for nonpayment. The charity did have cash, though. It borrowed $250,000 from TD Bank in June 2011.
To make matters even MORE shady…
The bank asked for repayment at the end of that year, sent two demand notices this February and got nothing. TD Bank sued the charity a few weeks ago.
A process server delivered documents relating to the suit to the charity’s purported office on West 45th Street last week.
A receptionist at the office, which is the headquarters of Stoute’s Translation marketing firm, said that the charity was no longer there and that she didn’t know where it was.
Hit the flip to see a breakdown of how bad things really are for Mary’s charity.
Image via WENN