Aretha Franklin Claims She Will Sue Writer of New Book on Her Life, Saying He Committed ‘Defamation’ | African-American News and Black History

Aretha Franklin, Aretha Franklin suing David Ritz, David Ritz "Respect", Entertainment, Music, T.I. -

Aretha Franklin Claims She Will Sue Writer of New Book on Her Life, Saying He Committed ‘Defamation’

Aretha Franklin, Aretha Franklin suing David Ritz, David Ritz "Respect", Entertainment, Music, T.I. -

Aretha Franklin Claims She Will Sue Writer of New Book on Her Life, Saying He Committed ‘Defamation’

Screen Shot 2014-11-17 at 12.02.01 PMAretha Franklin, who was anointed by Rolling Stone magazine as the greatest singer of all time, is reportedly threatening to sue biographer David Ritz for his tell-all book, “Respect: The Life of Aretha Franklin.”

Published by Little, Brown and Company, the book, according to Franklin, makes many false claims about her, including that she was addicted to sex and fried chicken when she was younger, according to the New York Post‘s Page Six.

“There’s a very trashy, trashy book on the street . . . It’s lies, lies, lies and then more lies. I’m talking to a criminal attorney. If this isn’t defamation, I don’t know what would be,” Franklin told the Detroit News.

Throughout her career, Franklin has always tried to keep her private life just that. Ritz’s book demolishes all of Franklin’s efforts at privacy in one foul swoop. The book discusses the separation of her parents, the challenges she faced becoming a teenage mother, some of her abusive relationships and her bouts with alcoholism and depression.

Ritz stressed that during the 1950s, as Franklin and her father toured the gospel circuit, her tour was referred to as the “Sex Circus,” an orgy of sorts that involved same-sex and heterosexual couplings.

Fellow soul diva, Etta James, who toured with Franklin when the two were younger, backed up Ritz’s claims about Franklin’s sexual endeavors, saying, “I can understand Aretha not wanting to talk about that . . . Who wants to admit that you’re praising the Lord at the 8 p.m. service and servicing some drop dead gorgeous hunk of a singer an hour later? Aretha and I started out before we were teenagers . . . we wanted to experience it all. I wouldn’t use the expression sexually active, I’d say sexually overactive.”

Ritz doesn’t seem to understand why the singer is so upset, reportedly viewing his book as a tribute to Franklin’s career.

“I spent 25 years researching ‘Respect.’ I see my book as an homage to Aretha’s artistic genius and an empathetic portrait,” Ritz told Page Six.

Ritz co-wrote a book with Franklin in 1999 that was completed with the singer’s cooperation, called “Aretha: From These Roots.” He has said there were so many facts that she made him remove that he wanted to do an unauthorized biography. Ritz has written biographies of or co-written books with a long list of stars, including R. Kelly, Etta James, Rick James, B.B. King, Marvin Gaye and the rapper T.I.

 

 


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