Aretha ‘suing biography author’
Aretha Franklin is reportedly threatening to sue David Ritz, the author of an unauthorized biography about her life.
The 72-year-old music legend has had a hugely successful career, and wrote a memoir about this in 1999 called From These Roots. But she is reportedly unimpressed that the same writer who helped her with that memoir has now written a revealing book of his own called Respect.
She is apparently “enormously upset by the book,” according to an insider for Page Six. David was Aretha’s former ghostwriter, meaning he likely had intimate knowledge of her life. He has allegedly used this to pull together his own novel, which he claims makes use of material that wasn’t used in the original memoir.
In the book, David claims Aretha’s tours were known as the “Sex Circus” and that there were “men-and-men and women-and-women hookups.”
David also quotes singer Etta James in his book.
“I can understand Aretha not wanting to talk about that,” he quotes the songstress as saying. “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.”
This week Aretha made her negative sentiments about David’s book clear. She indicated she would be seeking legal recourse over what she considered to be “defamation”.
“There’s a very trashy, trashy book on the street. It’s lies, lies, lies and then more lies,” she told the Detroit News. “I’m talking to a criminal attorney. If this isn’t defamation, I don’t know what would be.”
David has defended himself in a statement to Page Six. He claims his intent was to pay “homage” to Aretha.
“I spent 25 years researching Respect,” he told the publication. “I see my book as an homage to Aretha’s artistic genius and an empathetic portrait of a woman who has survived and thrived in the complex culture of show business.”
Music wise, the Queen of Soul is currently promoting her new album, Aretha Franklin Sings the Great Diva Classics.
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