No More Money Drama: Mary J. Blige Opens Up for First Time About Owing ‘Hundreds of Millions’ to IRS

by Xara Aziz
Big Stock Photo: LOS ANGELES - FEB 12: Mary J Blige at the "The Umbrella Academy"

Mary J. Blige is opening up about recent financial woes she faced with the IRS at the height of her career.

During the 2023 annual Strength of a Woman festival in Atlanta last weekend, the Not Gon’ Cry star admitted that she “owed hundreds of millions of dollars” in unpaid taxes.

“I owed so much money I never thought I’d ever get out of debt,” the iconic R&B crooner revealed.

Ten years ago, reports surfaced that the 52-year-old Yonkers native owed $3.4 million in unpaid taxes in a three-year period, according to The Huffington Post. She had also defaulted on two loans totaling $2.7 million.

Then in 2019, it was reported that the IRS filed a tax lien against the star, citing she owed the federal government $1,198,161 in back taxes.

“I’m out of debt now,” Blige said at the festival. “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 tithes.’ All of that money, I don’t even wanna see it because it doesn’t belong to me.”

The Real Love singer then went on to state that a large part of her financial distress stemmed from her divorce from her ex-husband and manager Martin “Kendu” Isaacs.

“He was in control of everything,” she said.

The pair married in 2003 and split in 2018.

In a recent The Breakfast Club interview, Blige went into detail about the divorce and how it impacted her finances.

“By the time I got to the deposition and saw everything that he did, I didn’t have a dollar left,” she said. “He spent everything, and he knew he spent everything but he was still asking me for more money.”

She added: “I had to give up all this alimony, and I didn’t have no more money to give because he had spent it all,” she said. “I had to go on tour and make all the money back to pay the alimony.”

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