Recently, an explosive new lawsuit claims a tax lawyer working for Gucci tried to cheat Rihanna out of 30 percent of her endorsement deal with the Italian brand.

According to the plaintiff, Josephine Robinson, who worked on Rihanna’s contract with Gucci, she was given a “shocking directive” from international tax lawyer Stan Sherwood, her boss.

Robinson claims that Sherwood wanted to over-charge the pop star because she was from Barbados.

Robinson’s lawsuit claims:

“When Sherwood discovered that Rihanna was from a Caribbean island, he told Robinson to ‘tax the hell out of her’ and find a way to allow Gucci to withhold 30 percent of her fee.”

Although the court filing doesn’t say how much the pop singer was paid for promoting Gucci’s Tatto Heart accessory collection, Rihanna made the Forbes list of “Top Earning Young Musicians” that year, raking in over $15 million.

According to the NY Post, Robinson filed the lawsuit because she felt like she was working in a racially hostile environment.

The NY Post reports:

“Robinson, who describes herself as a dark-skinned West Indian Latina, is seeking $5 million in damages for what she calls an unrelenting barrage of racist comments and jokes at her expense by Sherwood and others at Gucci, which she says fired her last year after she complained about the treatment.

“It is shocking that top level officials of a company as esteemed as Gucci would behave in such an inappropriate manner,” Ostrove said.

Reps for Rihanna didn’t return requests for comment, but a Gucci spokeswoman said: “Ms. Robinson’s allegations are completely baseless, and the company will defend itself vigorously against this meritless litigation. The company is confident that it will prevail.”

At press time, Rihanna’s camp hasn’t commented on the case, but it’ll be interesting to see how this one plays out.


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  • Intellblackman

    In spite of stories like this, many a black folk will miss their rent payments, have their cars repossessed and let their kids go hungry just to strut their stuff with some designer’s name plastered all over them. Never understood that mentality. Rest assure those racists Italian bastards are laughing all the way to the bank.

    • I would yell “PREACH” but in that one second, my husband might wake up shocked and accidentally back hand me and then I’ll forget to go downstairs and get my carrot juice and some chips. (Don’t judge me)

      So uhh..lemme type it.
      PREACH!! Gucci doesn’t give an eff about us, we need to support brands by people that look like us.

  • char

    Can we just get it right? She’s not Caribbean. Caribbean is not a country it’s a region. I don’t introduce myself as ‘Caribbean’ when I meet people. That’s silly. Insert a ‘from the’ in that headline. I could believe something shady took place because a lot, A LOT, of people like to say ‘oh you’re from the Caribbean so you don’t know much’. It’s a constant how can we take advantage of you in this particular situation.

    • titilayo

      In addition to being a proper noun (as in ‘the Caribbean’), Caribbean is also an adjective relating to people or things of/from the Caribbean. So there’s nothing wrong with describing a person as Caribbean. Rihanna is Barbadian, and she’s also Caribbean, as in from the Caribbean region. There’s no need to change the headline.

    • Karen

      Char I understand your point. But you provide no alternative word to describr people from the region. West Indians perferred to be called.. well.. West Indians as the word Caribbean is derived from cannibal / savage.

    • hehe

      I use both West Indian and Caribbean to describe myself.

    • bosslady

      @ Char. WRONG. She is Caribbean. Who said The Caribbean was a country?!!! Barbados is a country in the Caribbean region. That’s like saying someone cannot classify themselves as Latina because Latin America is not a country but a region. Your argument is VOID.

    • Donnie

      @karen…. Ummm nooo Caribbean is not derived from a word meaning Savage or canibal. Its derived from the word Carib… One of the many tribes of Amerindians, the original inhabitants of the region. Every West Indian or Caribbean child learns this history from Primary One.

      And as far as I know, Ive never heard any West Indian or Caribbean have a problem with being described as either… You rep your country, wave your flag and love the WI cricket team even when they loose… (Gt stand up)

    • Culturally Aware

      The title of this post reflects the culture ignorance of the author. I think the ignorance was innocent…but really before posting an article…Clutch needs to be more mindful of the words used to present their opinions. I don’t know if the writer is hoping to become journalist one day…but ‘Caribbean’ was not the accurate word of choice, in my opinion.

      The articles on Clutch love to talk about how ‘other races’ misrepresent black people, but some of us don’t even know enough about black people in the diaspora (this article is a prime example).

      The NY Post got it wrong too: ‘dark-skinned West Indian Latina’ I am very familiar with people who consider themselves part of the West Indian Culture and West Indian Latina is never used…being Latin has nothing to do with the West Indians I know who don’t speak Spanish. The West Indies is a old school term…still used today to describe the Caribbean Region which consist of many islands…but the Spanish speaking islands are not usually involved in West Indian things as far as I know…the Spanish speaking islands stay true to everything ‘Latino’.

      In regards to Rihanna, I don’t know if this story even matters…because she probably has U.S. professionals working for her team who know the U.S. tax law. So,I hope her team would make it difficult for Gucci to pull wool over her eyes with this tax issue. The NY POST is just trying to start something by bringing up race…and Clutch ran with it…because race issues are hot on Clutch.

  • Damn, like Rihanna in all types of controversy for the past couple of weeks. She sure (or seems) to find a way not let it stress her out.

  • Honey

    This is probably why I never bought something from Gucci even though Rihanna was their image . Their styles are ugly anyways
    Go buy Gucci copies

  • Kaye

    THANKS DONNIE! I was about to reach through the screen and smack somebody. @Karen, we spend enough time clearing up ignorance, please don’t add to it. As Donnie points out, Caribbean comes from Caribs, who were among some of the earliest settlers of the region and you can still find some of their descendants on some islands such as St. Vincent. Europeans started the tales of “Carib cannibalism” much like they did the myths of the “lazy Negro” and that Africans never had any civilizations. So as someone with Carib in her background, your statement is extremely offensive.

    Also, for the record, I’m descended from two people from different countries in the Caribbean, I’ve lived in the Caribbean, and I’ve never heard ANYONE describe themselves as “Caribbean.” If you know anything about the sad divisive history of the Caribbean, you’d understand that people take pride in referring to the country in the Caribbean they’re from, not the region, as in “I’m Jamaican,” “I’m Trini,” “Bajan” etc.