Celebrity roundup

Mary J Blige sued, Paula Deen backpedals

 
 
Blige
Blige
Larry Busacca / Getty Images for the Triple Nega

Suit up

Not a great start to the summer for Mary J. Blige, who was hit with a breach of contract lawsuit for allegedly reneging on a Dallas concert last December at the Barclays Center. Vision Entertainment Worldwide promotion company claims to have paid the singer $145,000 for the gig and she never gave it back.

The singer is no stranger to legal issues: she was recently served a $3.4 million tax lien for unpaid taxes in 2009, 2010 and 2011.

Legal travails

Paula Deen isn’t making new friends lately. The Food Network star was asked about her racial attitudes in a May 17 deposition by a lawyer for Lisa Jackson, an ex manager of Uncle Bubba’s Seafood and Oyster House. Deen and her brother, Bubba Hiers, own the restaurant. Jackson sued them, saying she worked in a hostile environment rife with innuendo and racial slurs.

According to a transcript, an attorney for Jackson asked Deen if she has ever used the N-word. “Yes, of course,” Deen replied. Asked to give an example, Deen recalled working as a teller in Georgia in the 1980s and being held at gunpoint by a robber, who was black. She told the attorney she thought she used the slur when talking to her husband “probably,” about the holdup.

Deen said she also may have used the word while recalling conversations between black employees at her restaurants. “But that’s just not a word that we use as time has gone on,” Deen, 66, said. “Things have changed since the ’60s in the South.”

Piece of advice

Alicia Keys doesn’t know Rihanna personally but feels for the singer, who is rumored to be entering “love rehab” for her addiction to Chris Brown.

Keys told the London Evening Standard that she hopes the music industry doesn’t get the best of the Barbadian beauty and that it’s key to have a strong foundation in such a “soul-less place.”

“Everybody wants to make sure you’re OK when they can get something from you, and they’re getting a percentage from you. But they don’t technically care if you’re OK,” Keys said. “They just want to make sure you can stand so you can go to work.”

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