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Rihanna Claims Accountants Cost Her Millions
Rihanna is suing her former accountants, blaming them for tens of millions of dollars in losses due to shoddy bookkeeping.
The 24-year-old singer and actress has accused them of failing to tell her to trim expenses when her 2009 tour was losing money.
The lawsuit, which was filed in a federal court in Manhattan, is seeking unspecified damages against New York-based Berdon LLP and two accountants.
A Berdon spokeswoman said the company had no immediate comment to make.
The singer, who is suing under her real name, Robyn Fenty, alleged the defendants drained tens of millions of dollars from revenues while she launched four national and international tours over a five-year period.
By the time of her Last Girl On Earth tour in 2010, the lawsuit claims the accounting firm caused "significant net losses" despite robust revenues.
Rihanna says the defendants had managed to pocket 22% of the tour's total revenues, while paying her just 6%.
The suit claims Berdon's unusual accounting practice of paying itself a percentage of gross tour income as commissions meant there was no incentive for it to "counsel" Rihanna to reduce expenses or put in place appropriate financial controls.
The lawsuit alleged that the practice of paying itself commissions on revenues was not standard in the accounting and business management industry, and created a clear conflict of interest.
Rihanna also blamed the accounting firm for an ongoing Internal Revenue Service audit of her tax returns, saying she had been forced to spend significant resources to correct errors resulting from negligence.
Since firing the firm and its accountants in September 2010, Rihanna's fortunes already have reversed, the lawsuit said.
Her Loud tour, stretching from June 2011 to December 2011, produced a net profit equal to more than 40% of total tour revenues.
According to the lawsuit, the singer hired the accountants in 2005 when she was a 16-year-old from Barbados launching her career.
The lawsuit also blamed the company for Rihanna's purchase of a new home in 2009.
She said competent business managers would have told her that her tour was losing money and it would not be advisable to buy such an expensive home at that time.
Last year, Rihanna sued a real estate company in Los Angeles over the $6.9m (£4.4m) purchase of the hillside home, saying it had serious structural defects.