Soul legend Aretha Franklin has got herself into a bit of an embarrassing mess. Franklin is suing satirical news site the News Nerd for $10 million because of a story they ran about a fictional brawl between Franklin and fellow soul songstress Patti LaBelle.
Supposedly, LaBelle felt that Franklin was bit disrespectful during a “Women Of Soul” event at the White House when she failed to acknowledge LaBelle, a moment captured in the following gif:
The News Nerd story “reported” that LaBelle attempted to resolve their issues at a concert in Atlanta on March 20th:
Onlookers say Labelle quickly removed her wig and earrings as she approached Franklin. Aretha, knowing that the removal of earrings is a tell-tale sign that a fight is about to ensue, attempted to prepare herself for the confrontation. Franklin was quickly struck with a Mayweather style right and left and stumbled backwards, landing awkwardly. Bystanders subdued Labelle and escorted her outside of the venue. Franklin suffered only minor injuries.
“Patti and I are cool and we always have been,” Franklin wrote yesterday in a statement in response to the article, thinking it was a regular tabloid. But clearly she did not appreciate the joke once she became aware. “The stories were not presented as satire or humor. It was presented as a serious news story intended to depict me in a slanderous and derogatory way — defamation of character,” Franklin’s publicist tells Detroit News.