Mary J. Blige has revisited the unpaid tax nightmare that consumed her back in 2016, and admitted that at the time she “owed hundreds of millions of dollars.”
Blige returned to Atlanta over the weekend to speak at her 2nd annual Strength Of A Woman Festival, which also featured appearances from Summer Walker, Ciara DJ Drama and others.
During her panel, Blige reflected back on that harrowing time in which the Internal Revenue Service accused the multi-platinum-selling singer of owing $1,198,161 in back taxes. However, Blige said the situation was far worse than anyone imagined, and said it just demonstrated the importance of financial literacy.
“Speaking of taxes, I owed so much money I never thought I’d ever get out of debt,” Mary J. Blige explained. “I’m out of debt now, but I mean I owed hundreds of millions of dollars in taxes. Now I have the wisdom, now I look at my payroll that’s not my money. My taxes are not my money … so I’m like, ‘Pay my payroll, pay my taxes, pay my ties, all of that money I don’t even wanna see it because it doesn’t belong to me.”
She continued: “And that’s how I was moving period. I was moving like that period but no one listened to me. When I was married I was like, ‘Pay my taxes, pay my ties,’ but they didn’t listen to me. He was in control of everything.”
Take a look at Mary’s comments below:
— HipHopDX (@HipHopDX) June 6, 2023
Blige was likely referring to her contentious divorce from her husband and manager Martin “Kendu” Isaacs back in 2016. In an interview with The Breakfast Club last year, the singer admitted her Good Morning Gorgeous track “Rent Money” was partially inspired by Isaacs’s irresponsible spending of her income which led to her going into debt.
“I had to pay all this alimony [when I got divorced] and I had no money to pay it. I had to go on tour to pay it,” she said at the eight-minute mark. “I had to go on tour to pay the rent ’cause he had spent all the money. By the time I got to the deposition and saw everything that he did, I didn’t have a dollar left. He spent everything, and he knew he spent everything but he was still asking me for more money.”
The comments come after it was recently announced that Mary J. Blige has inspired two more original movies in the works based on her music catalog.
Lifetime announced it would be collaborating with Blige for two films based off Blige’s biggest hits, “Real Love” and “Strength of a Woman.” The movies will air on back-to-back Saturdays, beginning June 10 at 8 p.m. Blige will serve as an executive producer on both under her production banner, Blue Butterfly, with co-producers Ashaunna Ayars and Nicole Jackson.
Mary J. Blige herself is no stranger to getting in front of the camera and is currently starring as Monet Tejada in Power Book II: Ghost.