By Teresa Ambord
She's a nine-time Grammy winner and a phenomenally successful R&B singer. But for reasons that aren't apparent, Mary J. Blige and her husband, Martin Isaacs, are buried in tax and financial troubles. In February, the New Jersey tax authorities filed a state tax lien against them for $901,769. But compared to the federal tax lien of $3.4 million and other woes, that's a drop in the tax bucket.
Their IRS liens include:
- $574,907 for 2009
- $2.2 million for 2010
- $647,604 for 2011
And that's not all.
The New York Post reported the couple is being sued by various banks for more than $3 million in defaulted mortgages. Blige and Isaacs own an 18,000-square-foot mansion in Saddle River, New Jersey, and a $2.5-million house in Palisades overlooking Manhattan. The Saddle River home was purchased in 2008 for $12.5 million. They've been trying to sell it since 2011, with an original asking price of $14 million, which has now dropped back to $12.5 million.
As if this weren't enough, they were sued last November by Signature Bank for defaulting on a $2.2-million loan.
They were also sued by Bank of America for nonpayment on another loan of $500,000 taken out in 2005. In 2012, the couple stopped making the payments, and now, with interest added, the New York Daily News says they still owe $514,000.
And, they were hit with a judgment for $4,301 in money owed to a landscaper.
But perhaps the most troubling problem is with Blige's charity. The Foundation for the Advancement of Women Now, an organization that helps send girls to college, is in financial disarray:
- In 2011, it was hit with a suit for nonpayment of a $250,000 TD Bank loan.
- The foundation is behind in filing tax returns.
- Hundreds of thousands of dollars in donations are missing.
At the time the foundation ran into trouble, Blige told Post reporters, "The problem is that I didn't have the right people in the right places doing the right things."
The foundation has been reorganized in an effort to deal with these pressing issues.
As for her other financial woes, a member of her PR team said, "Mary has been and is continuing to work with her new team to resolve all these issues as quickly as possible."
Blige was born in the Bronx and grew up in Yonkers. The forty-three-year-old R&B singer/songwriter – not to mention her work in hip-hop, soul, and a little bit of rap – made a fortune with songs like "Be Without You" and "No More Drama" and has enjoyed immense commercial success. Right about now, it seems likely the words "no more drama" are taking on a whole new meaning for the beleaguered blues singer.