*R&B star and actress Stephanie Mills has reportedly put an end to her business relationship with music mogul Hiriam Hicks, after accusing him of messing with her money.
The 60-year-old vocalist, who headlined a sold-out Mother’s Day concert at the Tropicana Showroom in Atlantic City, N.J., on Sunday, told the New York Daily News that she fired Hicks the following day.
Hicks, the former president of Island Black Music had been managing Mills for the past 3 1/2 years.
“Often times when this happens to an artist, they’re embarrassed and don’t want anyone to know,” Mills told the paper. But according to Mills, as a single mother raising a special needs son, she feels a need to show strength where she feels that she’s been wronged. She says she’s disappointed because she’d “trusted” Hicks.
Mills says Universal Attractions will oversee all of her performance dates and concert bookings for the time being. Mills says she’s weighing her legal options against Hicks and plans to use this opportunity to teach younger artists about the industry.
“I decided to come forward to share this because I want to empower other artists to pay attention to their business affairs,” she said. She says she’s grateful that her own business acumen led her to suspect that there were problems in her dealings with Hicks, which led to the severance.
Hicks, meanwhile, is denying the story.
“Your information is incorrect,” he wrote in an email. “Ms. Mills and I have an ongoing working relationship”