Mary J. Blige Speaks Out on Unpaid Charity Loan Allegations
Mary J. Blige Speaks Out on Unpaid Charity Loan Allegations

Mary J. Blige Speaks Out on Unpaid Charity Loan Allegations

Mary J. Blige is facing more drama this week after her non-profit organization FFAWN (Foundation for the Advancement of Women Now) was sued over an unpaid loan. The R&B songstress addressed the allegations during a phone call with Angie Martinez.

On Sunday, TMZ reported that TD Bank had filed suit against Blige and co-founder Steve Stoute over a $250,000 loan that the charity took out in June 2011. According to the suit, FFAWN agreed to pay the money back, but as of December 2011, they had only paid back $368.33. Additionally, the non-profit didn’t file a federal tax return for 2010 and is being sued by musicians who claim they were not paid to perform at a 2011 fundraising gala.

Speaking from Beijing, China, where she was performing at an event for Armani, Blige admitted FFAWN’s faults and explained how she was working to remedy the situation.

“FFAWN has been mismanaged and when I found out about all these issues, I immediately got on the phone with my lawyersand my advisers and tried to fix this so that none of those women would suffer,” said the singer. “My goal is to do exactly what I set out to do. My motives were true and upfront. I set out to empower and encourage women, but it turns out the business part of it was not managed properly.”

While she didn’t mention any specific names, she placed blame on those running the organization. “I just found out that when you don’t hire the right people and have them in the right places, doing the right things, and they don’t have the same motives that you do, your business suffers,” she continued. “And there’s a business to giving as well. So you have to have the right people to make sure everybody’s straight.”

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Serena Williams Advances To Her 50th Grand Slam Quarterfinal

In Melbourne, Australia, Serena Williams kicked off her week by solidifying her spot in the Australian Open’s quarterfinal, Reuters reports. On Monday evening (Jan. 21), the acclaimed champion defeated professional tennis’ No. 1 player Simona Halep (6-1, 4-6, 6-4). According to various news reports, the match tested each opponent’s athletic ability, with both vying to remain in the tournament by serving high power aces; on Williams’ end she landed nine.

“In order for me to stay out there, I had to play a little like I knew I could. I’m such a fighter. I just never give up,” Williams said. “It’s definitely something that’s innate. I just work so hard for every point.” On Halep’s side, she told reporters the whole exhibition came as fast as the speed of light. “I felt like I had been hit by a train in the first set,” Halep said. “Everything was too fast.”

As the Australian Open is the first Grand Slam exhibition to kick off pro-tennis’ season (French Open, Wimbledon, US Open), Williams is back on a renewed quest to add to her trophy case after losing 2018’s US Open final to Naomi Osaka. After giving birth to her first child in late 2017, Williams was back to work three months later.

In an interview with Vogue, Williams admitted that leaving tennis behind to be a full-time mom sounds enticing, but she’s on track to attain 25 single Grand Slam titles, a feat that would shatter the record held by Margaret Court with 24 conquests to her name.

“To be honest, there’s something really attractive about the idea of moving to San Francisco and just being a mom,” she said. “But not yet. Maybe this goes without saying, but it needs to be said in a powerful way: I absolutely want more Grand Slams. I’m well aware of the record books, unfortunately. It’s not a secret that I have my sights set on 25.”

Williams will take on No. 7 Karolina Pliskova on Tuesday (Jan. 22).

 

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It's official. My comeback is here. This Thursday I will start playing tennis again professionally for the first time since giving birth to my daughter. This whole month I am playing tournaments in California and Florida- both my home states. Thursday, the day I play my very first match, marks international women's day. My comeback could not have come on a better day and I decided I wanted to do something different let you all be apart of my long journey back (if you want of course!!) So I created my Serena Gold toned "S" pin. When I am playing you can wear it and show support not only from me but also for my charity which supports the Yetunde Price Resource center. I want this gold "S" mean something special to you personally. What is one S word in your life that means something to you? Mine is Strong and Sure! So when I wear my "S" pin I am representing Strength, and Sureness. What would your "S" mean? They are for now only available for my fans that come see my at Indian wells, and Miami starting Wednesday as well as Thursday when I play!! Sooooo if you are watching me stop by the Serena booth to grab a "S" pin. Post pics of you wearing your "S" and tag me! Thanks for the support I look forward to seeing you out there!!

A post shared by Serena Williams (@serenawilliams) on Mar 7, 2018 at 7:16am PST

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Sen. Kamala Harris Announces Her Run For Presidency

Sen. Kamala Harris has announced she's running for president in 2020.

The announcement is somewhat expected from the California Democratic senator who has not-so coyly led up to Monday's announcement (Jan. 21) by way of the press run she's conducted earlier this month as part of her book tour.

In a video clip posted to her social media prior to an appearance on ABC's Good Morning America, Sen. Harris called on her supporters to "claim their future."

"Justice. Decency. Equality. Freedom. Democracy. These aren't just words. They're the values we as Americans cherish. And they're all on the line now."

"The future of our country depends on you and millions of others lifting our voices to fight for our American values," Harris continued. "That's why I'm running for president of the United States. "I'm running to lift those voices, to bring our voices together."

I'm running for president. Let's do this together. Join us: https://t.co/9KwgFlgZHA pic.twitter.com/otf2ez7t1p

— Kamala Harris (@KamalaHarris) January 21, 2019

Harris is the first black woman to throw her hat in the 2020 presidential ring. Sen. Elizabeth Warren of Massachusetts and Kirsten Gillibrand of New York have announced exploratory committees. Harris, however, has bypassed that.

Harris gained national attention (and favor) during the Brett Kavanaugh hearing when she grilled the future Supreme Court justice about sexual assault allegations leveled against him by Dr. Betty Ford.

 

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Erykah Badu Clarifies Stance On R. Kelly Following Fan Outrage

Erykah Badu sparked outrage on Twitter on Saturday (Jan. 19) after she appeared to defend R. Kelly during a show in Chicago. During her set at the Aragon Ballroom, the songstress told fans that she was “puttin’ up a prayer ” for the disgraced R&B singer, despite Lifetime’s Surviving R. Kelly docuseries and nearly two decades of sexual abuse allegations. Now, amidst the backlash, Badu is stepping in to clarify her remarks and feelings toward Kelly.

"I love you. Unconditionally. That doesn’t mean I support your poor choices,” she tweeted in response to the controversy surrounding her initial comments. “I want healing for you and anyone you have hurt as a result of you being hurt. Is that strange to you? That’s all I’ve ever said. Anything else has been fabricated or taken out of context.”

As previously noted, Badu indicated that fans should show "unconditional" love to Kelly in hopes that he will get the help he needs. "But what if one of the people that was assaulted by R. Kelly grows up to be an offender, we gonna crucify them? I mean how do we do this? Just something to think about," she said during her concert.

While many fans were upset by Badu's message, this wouldn't be the first time she has defended R. Kelly, Spin notes. In 2015, she introduced the singer at the Soul Train Awards, where she claimed he had “done more for black people than anyone."

Check out Erykah Badu's latest comment below.

I love you. Unconditionally. That doesn’t mean I support your poor choices. I want healing for you and anyone you have hurt as a result of you being hurt. Is that strange to you ? That’s all I’ve ever said. Anything else has been fabricated or taken out of context. - eb

— ErykahBadoula (@fatbellybella) January 21, 2019

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