The Associated Press (as reported by Billboard) claims that Franklin sent a “lengthy fax” at the start of the week before calling reporters on Tuesday (April 25) about a “libellous” statement Warwick allegedly made at Houston’s funeral five years ago.
Franklin claims that Warwick said she was in attendance at Houston’s funeral when she was not and that Warwick called her the late singer’s “godmother”. Houston’s actual godmother was Darlene Love.
“She blatantly lied on me… fully well knowing what she was doing,” Franklin told Associated Press in a phone interview, adding of why it’s taken so long for her to speak about the incident: “There’s been so much going on around her [Houston], around the service, around the drugs, around her and Bobby [Brown] supposed to be fighting, I didn’t want to add anything to that and I didn’t want to be a part of that.”
Franklin continued to state that she saw Warwick last week at Tribeca Film Festival, recounting their interaction backstage: “She said, ‘Give me a hug.’ I said, ‘Oh hell no. You couldn’t be serious.”
Asked whether she felt she was owned an apology, Franklin said: “I don’t care about her apology, at this point it isn’t about an apology, it’s about libel… We’ve never been friends and I don’t think that Dionne has ever liked me.”
Warwick’s representative Angelo Ellerbee responded to Franklin’s comments by saying: “[Warwick] will not dignify a response to the statement made by Aretha Franklin.”
In 1964, Franklin covered Warwick’s hit ‘Walk On By’. You can listen to that above.