Rihanna has found herself at the heart of a Gucci race-row, writes the Telegraph. A former tax lawyer for the luxury brand has alleged that the company planned to ‘tax the hell’ out of the singer.
The former employee, Josephine Robinson, also claims that she was instructed to withhold 30 per cent of the singer's fee for her Gucci Tattoo Heart ad campaign. Robinson’s lawsuit claims that these orders were race-related, stating that ‘When [international tax counsel Stan] Sherwood discovered that Rihanna was from a Caribbean island [Barbados], he told Robinson to 'tax the hell out of her' and find a way to allow Gucci to withhold 30 per cent of her fee.’
According to Robinson (who describes herself as ‘dark-skinned West Indian Latina’) she endured ‘an unrelenting barrage of racist comments and jokes at her expense by Sherwood and others at Gucci’. Speaking to the press her lawyer said ‘it is shocking that top level officials of a company as esteemed as Gucci would behave in such an inappropriate manner’.
Gucci has responded with an official statement saying ‘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’.