Rihanna a big loser with ‘Umbrella' portfolio

Singer Rihanna attends the TIME 100 gala, celebrating the 100 most influential people in the world, at the Frederick P. Rose Hall on Tuesday, April 24, 2012 in New York. (AP Photo/Evan Agostini)
Singer Rihanna attends the TIME 100 gala, celebrating the 100 most influential people in the world, at the Frederick P. Rose Hall on Tuesday, April 24, 2012 in New York. (AP Photo/Evan Agostini) (ASSOCIATED PRESS)
Posted: July 06, 2012

RIHANNA MAY need to ask Chris Brown to go to work on her former accountants.

The Barbadian babe and pop star (a/k/a Robyn Fenty) sued the aforementioned former accountants Thursday, blaming them for tens of millions of dollars in losses, shoddy bookkeeping, a failure to recommend that she cut costs when her 2009 tour was losing money and an ongoing audit by the IRS.

But they did have nice handwriting.

The lawsuit in Manhattan federal court sought unspecified damages against New York-based Berdon LLP and two accountants. A Berdon spokeswoman said that the company had no immediate comment. Their Web slogan, however, is "Bringing clarity and direction."

Rihanna alleged through her attorneys that the defendants drained her of millions while she launched four national and international tours over a five-year period.

By the "Last Girl on Earth" tour in 2009, she'd learned that the tour had managed "significant net losses" despite robust revenues, while the defendants had managed to pocket 22 percent of the tour's total revenues while paying Rihanna just 6 percent of revenues, the lawsuit said.

Who the heck has her accountants manage her concert tour? They work for you, Rihanna. You don't work for them.

The suit says that Berdon's unusual accounting practice of paying itself a percentage of gross tour income as commissions (yeah, it's insane) left it no incentive to "counsel" Rihanna to reduce expenses or put in place appropriate financial controls.

Tattle, in fact, has long been looking for a business in which we could take a large percentage of the revenue but have no responsibility for any losses.

Rihanna's lawyers also blamed the accounting firm for an ongoing IRS audit of her tax returns, saying that she was forced to spend significant resources to correct errors resulting from negligence.

On the plus side, at least she filed returns.

Since firing the firm and its accountants in September 2010, Rihanna's fortunes have reversed enough that she's actually worth a fortune, the suit said. Her "Loud" tour stretching from June 2011 to December 2011 produced a net profit equal to more than 40 percent of total tour revenues, it added.

And now we get to the sad, moral lesson — why athletes and entertainers have so much in common when it comes to getting ripped off. According to the suit, Rihanna hired Berdon in 2005 when she was a 16-year-old launching her career. Who, aside from everyone, knows better than a 16-year-old what to look for in an accountant. She probably figured a Berdon the hand . . .

The suit also blamed the company for Rihanna's 2009 purchase of a $6.9 million hillside home in L.A., saying competent business managers would have told her that her tour was losing money and that it would not be advisable to buy such an expensive home at that time.

Then again, a competent adult might have asked a few questions before plunking down nearly $7 million for her starter house.

Last year, Rihanna, now 24, sued a real-estate company in L.A. over the purchase, saying the home had serious structural defects that made it unlivable. And if you're going to spend that much money on a house, at the very least you would like to be able to live in it.

Oh, Rihanna. You know what they call someone who claims both her accountants and real-estate agents defrauded her out of millions?

A mark.

TATTBITS

Jerry Seinfeld must be tired of eating his wife's hidden vegetables and needs to get out of the house.

He announced Thursday that he'll debut the Web series "Comedians in Cars Getting Coffee" on July 19. The interview show will feature Seinfeld's comedian friends — Larry David, Ricky Gervais, Michael Richards, the ubiquitous Alec Baldwin — shown driving various vintage cars.

Jerry must have a latte free time on his hands.

Matthew McConaughey and his new wife, Camila, are expecting again. Both the actor and his bride tweeted the news on Wednesday.

"Happy birthday America, more good news, Camila and I are expecting our 3rd child," the actor wrote, "God bless, just keep livin."

The baby will join a son named Levi, who turns 4 this week, and 2-year-old daughter Vida.

Also expecting is Claire Danes.

Her rep, Jodi Gottlieb, confirmed it to People.

Danes will be returning for a second season of Showtime's "Homeland." Her husband, Hugh Dancy, will star in the fall in the NBC series "Hannibal" and can be seen now in theaters in "Hysteria."

This will be their first child.

TMZ.com reported that Taylor Swift spent the July Fourth holiday with Patrick Schwarzenegger and the Kennedy clan in Massachusetts. She's 22; Patrick's 18. But it might not be a love match.

Taylor told Vogue that she's a huge fan of Ethel Kennedy, widow of Robert F. Kennedy, or sister-in-law to Patrick's grandmother.

Rihanna's father, Ronald Fenty, meanwhile, told Britain's Grazia magazine that he gives his blessing to his daughter in getting back together with Chris Brown.

This could explain why she didn't seek him out to help her pick an accountant. n

—Daily News wire services contributed to this report. Email gensleh@phillynews.com

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