Grazia (UK)

BEY­ONCE ‘IS A COW­ARD’

HIP HOP STAR TURNS ON SINGER OVER CHEAT­ING SCAN­DAL

- WORDS HAN­NAH FLINT

IN YEARS TO COME, 2016 will no doubt be re­mem­bered as Bey­oncé’s im­pe­rial phase. Since re­leas­ing her ex­plo­sive vis­ual al­bum Le­mon­ade in April, she’s won the best crit­i­cal ac­claim of her ca­reer, launched a world tour, ‘slayed’ count­less times at awards cer­e­monies and ap­par­ently re­paired her frac­tured re­la­tion­ship with hus­band Jay Z.

That’s with­out men­tion­ing that the record has ar­guably be­come the most spec­u­lated upon in his­tory, ad­dress­ing the per­sis­tent ru­mours that Jay had been un­faith­ful through­out their mar­riage. Fans watched as the singer de­clared: To­day I re­gret the night I put that ring on, and asked her hus­band, Who the f*** do 

you think I am? You aint mar­ried to no av­er­age bitch, boy, be­fore throw­ing her wed­ding ring into the cam­era and tear­fully at­tempt­ing sui­cide. More than four months later, shock waves are still be­ing felt across the A list.

Fu­elled by the now in­fa­mous lyric He only want me when I’m not there. He bet­ter call Becky with the good hair, con­jec­ture con­tin­ues over who the al­bum’s ‘other woman’ could be, with many be­liev­ing ‘Becky’ to be Rachel Roy. The fash­ion de­signer was said to have been at the heart of ‘Lift­gate’ – in which Bey­oncé’s sis­ter Solange was filmed phys­i­cally at­tack­ing Jay Z in a lift at the Met Gala in 2014, sup­pos­edly be­cause of his in­dis­cre­tions. Then, just one day af­ter Le­mon­ade was re­leased, Rachel was ac­cused of out­ing her­self as Becky when she up­loaded a photo on In­sta­gram cap­tioned ‘Good hair don’t care’.

When Rachel’s icloud and Gmail ac­counts were later hacked and her phone num­ber changed with­out her con­sent, the LAPD were drafted in to in­ves­ti­gate whether Bey­oncé fans were re­spon­si­ble. Nei­ther Bey­oncé or Jay Z have ad­dressed the ru­mours.

Now, speak­ing ex­clu­sively to Grazia, Rachel’s ex-hus­band Da­mon Dash has re­vealed the ex­tent of what his fam­ily has en­dured in the wake of the scan­dal.

Da­mon, who co-founded Jay Z’s first record la­bel, Roc-a-fella Records, be­fore the for­mer busi­ness part­ners split ac­ri­mo­niously, said at the launch of his own TV net­work Da­mon Dash TV, ‘They are cow­ards. They should have stepped up and said some­thing.’

He also slammed the cou­ple af­ter re­veal­ing that his two daugh­ters with Rachel, Tal­lu­lah Ruth and Ava, have been trolled and bul­lied on so­cial me­dia fol­low­ing the ru­mours about their mother. ‘Adults can go and ha­rass a kid on be­half of an R’N’B singer? It was like sex­ual abuse, the trolls should have been put in jail for that, it was crazy. I was dis­ap­pointed Bey­oncé and Jay didn’t say any­thing.’

Rachel has since com­mented: ‘I re­spect love, mar­riages, fam­i­lies

‘THEY SHOULD HAVE STEPPED UP AND SAID SOME­THING’

and strength. What shouldn’t be tol­er­ated by any­one, no mat­ter what, is bul­ly­ing, of any kind,’ and has de­nied that the song refers to her.

But the scan­dal has re­opened a long­stand­ing feud be­tween Jay Z and Da­mon, who split from Rachel in 2009 af­ter four years of mar­riage.

The for­mer col­leagues are said to have fallen out in 2004 af­ter Def Jam Record­ings bought their la­bel Roc-a-fella, one of the most fa­mous hip hop la­bels of the ’90s. It closed, with Jay Z then be­com­ing CEO at his own la­bel Roc Na­tion.

Da­mon later com­mented of the time, ‘I thought the way Jay car­ried things was a be­trayal to the com­pany. I just felt like Roc-a-fella should ex­ist.’

The pro­ducer went on to work on the cloth­ing com­pany Ro­cawear with Rachel, and has helped ad­vance the ca­reers of Wiz Khal­ifa and Kanye West. In 2003, he worked with Vic­to­ria Beck­ham on her ill-fated hip hop al­bum, which never saw re­lease.

Da­mon ad­mit­ted he had ‘got a lit­tle bit of ther­apy’ af­ter the re­lease of Le­mon­ade. But when asked to ad­dress the ru­mours of a fling be­tween Rachel and Jay, he de­clined.

In com­ments that will no doubt add fuel to the the­ory that Rachel is ‘Becky’, he told Grazia, ‘I don’t care what Rachel did – I don’t agree with a lot of things she does.

‘I have kids by that woman, so if I ever dis­re­spect their mum it will hurt my kids. I can­not air it out the way I would like to.

‘I love my chil­dren, but there are def­i­nitely things that are be­ing done which I would not ex­pect of a reg­u­lar hu­man. But I am a gen­tle­man, so I will not be hard on her.’

And the con­tro­versy looks set to con­tinue. Grazia has pre­vi­ously re­ported that Bey­oncé and Jay are be­lieved to have worked on a joint record. Now, in­sid­ers say that the pair are gear­ing up to re­lease a com­pan­ion to Le­mon­ade – Cham­pagne. The vis­ual al­bum is said to deal with themes of mar­riage coun­selling, trust is­sues, celebrity and re­gret.

Ru­mours about the al­bum first sur­faced in 2014, be­fore the pro­ducer De­tail con­firmed that it ex­isted at the Grammy Awards in 2015. It is said to have been com­pleted in May.

Mean­while, Da­mon is de­vel­op­ing a ‘bru­tally hon­est’ TV se­ries about the rise and fall of Roc-a-fella, which he has com­pared to the re­cent se­ries The Peo­ple vs OJ Simp­son. The show will ap­par­ently de­tail his re­la­tion­ship with Rachel as well as be­hind-thescenes deal­ings with Jay.

We have a feel­ing that there might be more rev­e­la­tions to come…

‘I RE­SPECT LOVE, MAR­RIAGES, FAM­I­LIES... WHAT SHOULDN’T BE TOL­ER­ATED IS BUL­LY­ING’

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 ??  ?? Above: Da­mon Dash is in­volved in a long-stand­ing feud with Jay Z – ex­ac­er­bated by ru­mours in­volv­ing his ex-wife Rachel Roy
Above: Da­mon Dash is in­volved in a long-stand­ing feud with Jay Z – ex­ac­er­bated by ru­mours in­volv­ing his ex-wife Rachel Roy
 ??  ?? Left: Rachel Roy with then-hus­band Da­mon Dash in 2006
Left: Rachel Roy with then-hus­band Da­mon Dash in 2006
 ??  ?? Top: the power cou­ple are set to re­lease a joint record. Above: Rachel has de­nied Bey­oncé’s lyrics re­fer to her
Top: the power cou­ple are set to re­lease a joint record. Above: Rachel has de­nied Bey­oncé’s lyrics re­fer to her

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