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Rihanna Broke and Down to Her Last $20,000?

Posted by Fara Kearnes on August 20, 2008 5:58 PM |

rihannaCan the high life really cost that much or is Rihanna's career barely pulling in enough coin to keep her head above water financially? What looked like phenomenal success over the past year, isn't represented in her bank account, says her ex-accountant.

RiRi's former business partner Patricia Williams says that Rihanna has about $20,000 left, and Ri is accusing Williams of stealing the money...

The business manager says she was fired “for no good reason, all in ignorance” and is “livid” with Rihanna & her management company Rebel One. Rihanna recently met with Williams to check on her affairs and was shocked to see that she was broke. She then accused Williams of stealing her money.

But Williams defended herself -at length - and gave up an incredible amount of detail.

“I’m a professional Business Manager, I have a staff of more than a dozen, I have worked for many high profile actors, musicians and multi-million dollar corporations," Williams says. "Why would I steal from Rihanna? I showed her all the paperwork and tried to explain to her the circumstances but she wouldn’t listen. She called me all sorts of horrible names and stormed off. I now feel compelled to share with the world the background story as I will not allow my name to be slandered.”

The Barbados born singer has had four back-to-back albums, including a re-release since her debut of “Pon De Replay” in 2005. According to Williams, Marc Jordan, manager and owner of Rebel One Management has been taking care of Rihanna’s financial situation with her.

Williams says the root of the problem is that Rihanna has a bad deal with Def Jam.

“Def Jam doesn’t fund Rihanna properly, so Marc uses the money Rihanna makes from third-party endorsements and from tours to fund her album and music videos.”

“Since 2005, Rihanna has been sponsored by the likes of JC Penny, Samsung, CoverGirl, Secret, Venus Breeze etc, and has gone on two major tours, most recently label-mate Kanye West’s “Glow in the Dark” Tour and with Pussy Cat Dolls across Europe," Williams says.

"I don’t want to disrespect Marc’s name. He is a fantastic manager and genuinely believes in Rihanna. But he uses her money to fund her future projects because he believes he can break her in the world-market. Her album sales are not nearly as close to her single sales and he knows that if she is only known as a ‘singles artist’ she will only be as good as her last hit. Unfortunately, he didn’t inform his client and I’m receiving the brunt of it.”

Then Williams gets down to details...

“Her record label Def Jam has put out 3 albums in a time span of 2 years. A lot of that was orchestrated through her management Rebel One. It was never Def Jam’s intention to release so many albums back-to-back but Marc Jordan found loop holes and ways to make it happen. A lot of the money Rihanna made was through her endorsements between CoverGirl cosmetics, Samsung.. Notice that majority of Rihanna’s videos have a cell phone in it?”

“After the release of Rihanna and Teairra Mari, Def Jam had the intention to drop both acts because their album sales were not successful. Her manager fought to get “S.O.S” and quickly tried to negotiate with as many companies as possible. Nike picked up the song and funded a video.”

“...Rihanna was making $30,000 a show in Europe but she didn’t see any of that money because it was needed to fund her next album.”

“The song “Umbrella” was found & Jordan fought again for Rihanna to have it. They shot the video, which CoverGirl funded half of, and the song became a success. When the record label had their meeting with Music Stores across the U.S to order her album for shipment, the number’s weren’t coming in the way that they expected.”

“When the album’s first week numbers came in at less than 150,000, the label was shocked. Def Jam’s President LA Reid was livid! “Umbrella” was #1 for 11 weeks! Any other artist would have sold way more first week. T-Pain even did better in sales than her that week."

"Def Jam told Jordan they were no longer funding the album, so Jordan needed money again to pay for music videos ‘Shut Up & Drive’ and ‘Dont Stop The Music’. Almost $250,000 was spent to have those videos created. Plus, an additional $120,000 to shoot ‘Hate That I Love You’.”

“Jordan was noticing that ‘Dont Stop The Music’ was picking up, so he persuaded the label to support it at radio in the U.S and the remaining singles, and they did. Then came for the repackaging of her album Good Girl Gone Bad, which is called Good Girl Gone Bad: Reloaded, that entire project was funded through Rihanna’s money.

“‘Take A Bow’ was bought through her money, the video was created with her money and so is her most recent video and single ‘Disturbia’. The label didn’t even want to pay a dime for anything! Close to 750,000 was spent on those two songs alone. And now she expects to see money in her account?”

Williams states that Jordan, her publicist from well-respected public relations firm 42-West, Alicia Silverman has built a lot of hype around Rihanna’s name but the singer has only made “a little bit above a million” and “all of it was spent on making her as big as she is now.”

“It’s not my fault that she only has $20,000 to her name.”

Wow. Just wow. Ri can bounce back - she's young and all but her accountant and business manager should have kept her informed. There's no excuse for that.


i find that rihanna's record deal is a hold teaf. like it was all plan out before they sign her in because they new that she could of make them rich but at least they could of explain to her what would of exactly happen with her money. i think that they only hired miss williams so that they could of put the fire on someone to take the shame and insults from their names. i am a caribbean person and for rihanna whom is a caribbean girl also should open her eyes and realize the things that's happening around and to her, by "WHERE IS ALL OF MY MONEY?" cause if that $20.000 finish your dreams are over then you will have to move back home and forget everything behind of you and i dont think that WE want that so pull a meeting with your record label and find out what is what, cause right now it's you that gives the green light girl. AS CARIBBEAN QUEENS I SAY LETS MAKE A MOVE AND SET RULES ON YOUR BELONGINGS SUCH AS YOUR MONEY, HOUSE, CLOTHES,........

Wow its so unfortunate that such a thing is happening to a famous star like Ri.

I love you Rihanna yahooooooowwww love rihanna beatiful beatiful I am turkey

I think def jam should take a bow,the artists 4rm that label have lot of experiece to sit back and watch the whole video playing.but ri can still do it as now she knows how they do it

Hi Ri,am ur numba 1 fan in Nigeria.not hapi about d mess u into rite now.ur fans re rite here 4 u & breezy is dere 4 u.

hmmm .. i was completely appalled by this.. neva expected this to happen so soon.. im from st.lucia..rite across form barbados.. n it is a shame.. i think rihanna should open her eyes. ans start takin responsibility.. i mean if u sign a record deal with a company...y the hell they dont wanna pay... look at ur contract girl n if suein need to be issued ..then do so..dnt let them walk all over u.. this is crap..

oh my god,rihanna my dear dont worry God that gave u that money before will still give u more in fact u r still young girl,i know no doupt u will do better in the future,

Hey, let's face it, for a girl that doesn't really have a great singing voice or write her own songs she's had a pretty good ride so far. She has to expect it to end some time!

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