Remaining 3LW members Adrienne Bailon and Kiely Williams issued a statement Thursday (August 22) denying claims that former member Naturi Naughton was forced to leave the group due to mistreatment.
Naughton announced her exit Wednesday on New York’s WBLS-FM Wednesday (August 21), accusing manager Michelle Williams of regularly complaining about her appearance. Naughton also claimed that Kiely hit her with a plate of food following an argument during a tour stop in South Carolina.
“We’ve been disappointed by the comments Naturi has made on radio and most recently on MTV’s TRL,” Bailon said. “Like most girlfriends, we’ve had our share of differences. However, at no time was Naturi subjected to any physical abuse. We totally deny claims made against us.”
Kiely adds, “I know this sounds like a juicy story to people, but it’s really disappointing to see that there are those who have judged the situation before even hearing our point of view.”
Kiely also refuted accusations that she received preferential treatment from manager Michelle Williams, who is also her mother (and is no relation to the Destiny’s Child member), and who is credited with assembling the group. “My mom was around us everyday,” Kiely said in the statement. “And those who know us, know that she would not hesitate to check me when needed.”
Kiely added that Naughton’s allegations that race played a role in her departure, is false. “This group was supposed to bring girls of color together, not tear them apart,” Kiely said. “That’s why we all looked so different in the first place. We were trying to show that beauty and talent comes in all shades.”
Adrienne and Kiely said they hope to get past their differences.
3LW’s sophomore album, A Girl Can Mack, is due out in October on Epic Records. The album’s first single “I Do (Wanna Get Close To You)” was produced by P. Diddy and Mario Winans.
— Billy Johnson Jr., Los Angeles