Mary J. Blige Says She Made No Money From Oscar-Nominated Performance in Mudbound

Mary J. Blige at the Screen Actors Guild Awards in Los Angeles on Jan. 21, 2018
Mary J. Blige at the Screen Actors Guild Awards in Los Angeles on Jan. 21, 2018
Photo: Frazer Harrison (Getty Images)

In court documents filed ahead of Mary J. Blige’s upcoming divorce trial, the singer revealed that her Oscar-nominated turn in Mudbound netted her no income. Despite being met with acclaim for both her acting in the film and her performance of the film’s theme, “Mighty River,” Blige said that her expenses outweighed what she was paid.

As The Blast reported (h/t to Complex), the disclosure is another revelation in what has been an ugly divorce process for Blige and her ex-husband and manager Kendu Isaacs.

Blige is fighting having to pay Isaacs any spousal support, according to The Blast, and blames her former manager for her financial downfall. She originally filed for divorce in July 2016, and the pair have been locked in a bitter dispute over money ever since, with Blige claiming in the recent court documents that Isaacs looks at her like she’s his “bank.”


The Queen of Hip-Hop Soul also asserted that she’s been in dire financial straits. The TV and film roles she’s taken on have not netted her much money and have functioned primarily to bolster her brand. Blige also said that her main source of income comes from touring, but since she’s a “legacy artist, there is no market for her to embark on a major world tour every year,” according to the court documents she filed.

The iconic singer says she is also in substantial debt. She doesn’t own her music catalog and owes about $25 million in advances, Blige claimed in the filings. She also said that, while she was married to Isaacs, the pair racked up $12 million in debt, which she’s still paying off. Meanwhile, she says, Isaacs has been unwilling to try to get a job.

Isaacs says that he is “unemployable,” according to court documents. Earlier this year, he was hospitalized—a result, he says, of stress from the divorce.

Staff writer, The Root.

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Kendu Isaac, Mike Dobson and the many other wutless (yes, I said wutless!) men out there really need someone to dump a bucket of cabbage water on their head. I HATE seeing men beg women for money. It is the tackiest thing ever and makes you look like a damn idiot. Go find work!