March 25, 2023

Murder Inc. Records CEO and music producer Irv Gotti has come under fire for his relationship with R&B singer Ashanti. On August 23, Gotti (52) recalled how he began his relationship with the singer around two decades back.
In the third episode of The Murder Inc. Story docuseries, Gotti revealed:
He went on to say that the singer would turn up at the studio in “Juicy sweats,” and recalled how he told her one day that he would take her home:
The incident, which allegedly happened around 20 years back, has landed Irv Gotti in hot waters and earned him significant backlash, with some even labelling the actions as being predatory in nature.
Gotti and Ashanti reportedly began dating sometime in the early 2000s, while the former was still married to Debbie Lorenzo. In a 2019 episode of Growing Up Hip Hop: New York, Lorenzo spoke about the “relationship” between her husband and Ashanti, citing it as a contributing factor to their eventual divorce.
During the episode, Gotti’s ex-wife also stated that he had cheated on her multiple times while he was away from home. The two were married for more than a decade before they reportedly split in 2013.
Irv Gotti married noted hat designer Debbie Lorenzo in the early 2000s and shares three children with her – Angie, Sonny, and Jonathan “JJ” Wilson Gotti.
Apart from hat designing, Lorenzo is also an entrepreneur, and founded Frances Grey millinery shortly after her divorce with Gotti. The Queens native of Jamaican descent also received her Master’s Degree in Social Work following her separation from Gotti. She also attended New York City’s Fashion Institute of Technology, and was enrolled in their millinery program, which gave her the expertise required for this business.
According to Irv Gotti’s confession on The Wendy Williams Show, Debbie Lorenzo caught him cheating while he was directing I Cry in Baltimore. He recalled that Lorenzo had gone up to his hotel room where he caught him cheating on her. Speaking about the incident, Gotti said:
Following his revelation on the The Murder Inc. Story docuseries, multiple tweets pointed out the ten-year age gap between Ashanti (now 41) and Gotti (now 52). Netizens were quick to point out that at the time of their first encounter around two decades back, Ashanti would have been 19 or 20, whereas Gotti would have been in his 30s.
This sparked much criticism over Gotti’s pursuit of Ashanti back then.
A few tweets also insinuated out that since the music producer was already established and Ashanti was in the early stages of her career, the up-and-coming artist might have felt forced to give in to Gotti’s advances and thought that it would bring turn a negative light on her career if she refused.
During his appearance in the Drink Champs podcast, Gotti told co-host Noreaga aka N.O.R.E. that having s*xual relations with him had helped Ashanti in her career. He further revealed how he wrote his hit track, Happy:
It remains to be seen if Ashanti will address the recent concerns of her fans as to the age gap and start of her brief relationship with Irv Gotti in the past.


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