Aretha Franklin And Patti LaBelle’s Fake Fight Gets Real With $10M Lawsuit


What began as an hilarious, but clearly fabricated, story not only just got funnier. It also got real.

Last week, The News Nerd posted a satirical story about soul legends/upper-echelon divas Aretha Franklin and Patti LaBelle getting into it following some perceived SHADE (above) at the White House “Women of Soul” concert:

While at the concert in Atlanta, Labelle attempted to approach Franklin to resolve their outstanding issues, but Franklin once again turned up her nose. 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.

First off, this story is clearly fake because Miss Patti does not take her wig off for anyone. EVER. And second, The News Nerd has a disclaimer that says the stories on its site are for “entertainment purposes only.” The Queen of Soul, however, was clearly not amused. She issued a statement shortly after the story ran, telling Billboard she’d “never heard anything crazier” in her life and that she and Patti are just basically two souls sisters doing it for their damn selves.

Apparently still not in on the joke, Franklin is writing a punchline of her own. According to The Detroit News, Miss Aretha wants to file a $10 million lawsuit against the News Nerd, claiming “defamation of character.”

“The stories were not presented as satire or humor,” Franklin said through her publicist, Gwendolyn Quinn. “It was presented as a serious news story intended to depict me in a slanderous and derogatory way.”

What character are we defaming here exactly? Is it Aretha’s character from Got 2B Real, the Diva Variety Show? The YouTube paraody series had storylines just like this one, leading me to hope that they were all somehow based in fact. It warms my cold, dead heart to think that there’s even a possibility of a 72-year-old Aretha Franklin and a 69-year-old Patti LaBelle going toe to toe, blow for blow in a public setting. Of course, it’d be T.K.O. as soon as Patti spread her wings like Mothra and launched her Louboutins directly at Aretha’s lace front.



Lester Fabian Brathwaite is an LA-based writer, editor, bon vivant, and all-around sassbag. He's formerly Senior Editor of Out Magazine and is currently hungry. Insta: @lefabrat