Mary J. Blige recently spoke about allegations that her foundation FFAWN (Foundation for the Advancement of Women Now) has committed financial foul play. TMZ was the first to report that those in charge of the financial aspect of the foundation mishandled funds, including the non-payment of a $250,000 loan, lack of payment to musicians who performed at a benefit concert, and failure to file federal taxes for 2010.
The queen of hip-hop/soul spoke to Angie Martinez via phone call from Beijing, China, where she is scheduled to perform at an event for Armani. In the phone interview, Blige reassures that she is working to rectify the situation, stating that those who were running the organization are to blame, while respectfully not mentioning any names. “FFAWN has been mismanaged and when I found out about all these issues, I immediately got on the phone with my lawyers and 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,” she says.
She goes on to state that the problem stems from the fact that the wrong people were hired. “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 explained.
The outlook looks good for FFAWN, as Blige confirms that new people are being hired to save the organization’s reputation and keep it from sinking. “So right now as we speak, I’ve hired a team of people that are making sure my business is taken care of as far as FFAWN is concerned,” she said. “FFAWN is not closing down. We are just restructuring.”
The singer’s intention is to help women. “I’m an artist and my goal was to do something great. I dreamed about helping save the lives of women. This is something I always wanted to do, but I only wanted to do it if I had the right team of people who can do the part that I can’t do. I don’t know about the business side of this thing. All I know is giving-giving my time, giving my lyrics, giving my life.”
Hopefully, the previous management of FFAWN hasn’t tarnished Mary’s altruistic intentions to give back to the community.