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How Rihanna's Accountant Scammed Her Out Of Millions

Nicki Swift 1/31/2023 Kay Banks
Rihanna posing © Dimitrios Kambouris/Getty Images Rihanna posing

Rihanna is easily one of pop music's biggest success stories. In addition to producing a slew of catchy singles, including "Umbrella," "Diamond," and "Stay," Rihanna has sold over 33 million albums (via Chart Masters) and won nine Grammy awards. The Barbados native has also made notable strides as an actor, including her role in 2018's "Ocean's 8," per Deadline. Then there are her entrepreneurial efforts with Fenty Beauty — her ever-expanding cosmetics brand. Since launching in 2017, Fenty Beauty has captivated the beauty industry, due to its dedication to servicing a diverse range of women (according to Vogue UK). In 2018, Savage X Fenty, Rihanna's lingerie brand, launched and Fenty Skin was born in 2020, per Harper's Bazaar

According to Forbes, the hard work has paid off, as Rihanna's worth over $1.7 billion. Even so, the singer hasn't allowed her wealth to go to her head. "It's tricky because it's hard to even accept that's where you're at because I know where I've come from," Rihanna shared with The New York Times. "At the same time, it feels good to be able to inspire young women and boys, who like me, come from humble beginnings, who come from parents who are immigrants or who are immigrants themselves, to be able to do this." 

Despite Rihanna's financial triumphs, things weren't always this way. Even amid her enormous success, the actor was once scammed out of millions of dollars. 

Rihanna Once Sued Her Ex-Accountants

Rihanna at an event © DFree/Shutterstock Rihanna at an event

In 2012, Rihanna filed a lawsuit against her former accountants at Berdon LLP, whom she hired in 2005, alleging that they had scammed her out of millions of dollars. According to The Hollywood Reporter, one of Rihanna's grievances was that the accountants allegedly pocketed a substantial percentage of her Last Girl on Earth tour budget in 2009, even though that wasn't a standard accounting practice. She also claimed that they withheld helpful financial advice concerning cutting tour costs so they could pocket higher commissions.  

According to Page Six, the accountants also allegedly encouraged Rihanna to purchase a multi-million dollar mansion. "The defendants advised Ms. Fenty by email that purchasing a home in Los Angeles `would be a good investment' despite knowing Ms. Fenty was experiencing financial difficulties," shared Rihanna's attorney, Edward Estrada, in court documents. The court filings also revealed that the home in question was littered with mold. "Ultimately [the house] was uninhabitable, and Ms. Fenty suffered a significant monetary loss when she ultimately sold the property for nearly $2 million less than what she paid," continued Estrada.

At the time, Rihanna's former accountants denied that they were to blame for her losses, per TMZ. However, as reported by Reuters, all parties managed to reach a settlement by July 2014.

Rihanna's Hit Song May Have Been Inspired By Her Former Accountants

Rihanna performing on stage © Debby Wong/Shutterstock Rihanna performing on stage

While financial woes are never fun, Rihanna's might have birthed one of her most beloved (and controversial) tracks: "B***h Better Have My Money."  If you recall, Rihanna confidently sings about money owed to her on the track, which was released in 2015. And while Rihanna has never confirmed this theory, the internet is convinced that "B***h Better Have My Money" was written with her former accountants in mind. 

According to Pop Sugar, for example, Rihanna's decision to label her accountant as "The B***h" in the song's music video is proof enough of the song's inspiration. Meanwhile, The Washington Post points to where a scorned Rihanna kidnaps and tortures her accountant's wife in the video and holds her for ransom. Whether or not these theories are true, the video certainly gives the line, "Your wife in the backseat of my brand new foreign car," per Genius, an eerie new meaning.

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