Singer Aretha Franklin has slammed author David Ritz's new book about her, insisting the unauthorised biography is "full of lies".
Ritz recently released Respect: The Life of Aretha Franklin, but the Queen of Soul is unhappy with many of the stories he has written in the book, including a teen pregnancy, her parents' separation and her battle with alcohol.
A statement from Franklin reads: "As many of you are aware, there is a very trashy book out there full of lies and more lies about me... (The writer's) actions are obviously vindictive because I edited out some crazy statements he had the gall to try and put in my book written 15 years ago. Evidently, he has been carrying this hatred ever since."
Franklin and Ritz previously worked together on her 1999 biography, Aretha: From These Roots, but he was not allowed to include the stories in that book.
In Respect: The Life of Aretha Franklin, he writes, "The sensitive questions - Aretha's mother leaving family, Aretha having two babies while still in her teens, Aretha being beaten by her first husband... were off-limits.
"In my view, my two years of working on From These Roots resulted in my failure to actualize the great potential in Aretha's narration. I didn't do what I set out to do."
Now Ritz feels he has achieved his goals with the new book.
He tells the Associated Press, "I think the book in the deepest way is an appreciation. And when I say appreciation, it's just not an appreciation of her art; it's an appreciation of the challenges of her life and the appreciation how hard it is to kind of navigate your way through the complexities of show business culture."
He adds, "I call the book Respect because I think it's a respectful book. I tried to be understanding and compassionate and that was my goal... I love her and I love her art, and I tried to honor her story."