Mary J. Blige: Charity scammer?
SHE may have given soul music a shot in the arm by introducing it to hip hop, but Mary J. Blige could be in a mountain of trouble. Mary J. set up a charity, but sadly, rather than empowering women, it has been bouncing cheques, doesn’t have an office or a phone number and has seen hundreds of thousands of dollars of donations going walkies, allegedly.
Blige’s charity failed to file its tax returns as well as its annual state-charity registration, which means it has been slapped with two lawsuits. One claims that the group has swindled musicians regarding a 2011 fund-raising gala and another alleges the charity has defaulted on a $250,000 loan.
This goes against the lovely claim that Blige made on the Today show when she said that she “sent 25 women to college.” She was promoting her fragrance at the time, which sold 60,000 during its six-hour debut on a teleshopping channel. A 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.
“I just want to be one of those women to reach out and show women if I can do it, we all can do it,” said Blige. However, it seems she doesn’t want to be quite as open about where that $60,000 (and other donations) has gone.
“We got a whole series of checks — rubber,” said Harvey Mars, a lawyer representing 30 musicians and others. A lawsuit claims the group is owed a total of $167,252 for wages and penalties for non-payment. The charity also borrowed $250,000 from TD Bank but after asking for repayment, they’ve heard nothing. They’re suing as well.
Mary J. will be up aaaaaall niiiiiiiight loooooong worrying about this won’t she?