Who Is Rihanna's Dad? New Details About Their Rocky Relationship — And Why She's Suing Him

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Who Is Rihanna's Dad Ronald Fenty? New Details About Their Relationship And Why She's Suing Him
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In August 2018, Rihanna was named the 21st century’s “Most Influential Musician” on NPR for her consistent chart-topping hits since 2005, but more recently she's made a name for herself in the business world with her beauty line, Fenty Beauty.

Rihanna launched the cosmetic company in 2017. Time Magazine named her line one of the best inventions of 2017 due to its vast selection of shades to include all skin tones.

“Fenty beauty was created for everyone,” Rihanna says on the homepage of the Fenty Beauty website, “for women of all shades, personalities, attitudes, cultures, and races. I wanted everyone to feel included. That’s the real reason I made this line.”

The name for her brand comes from Rihanna's surname, Fenty. However, she's not the only one with that last name, and now she's reportedly suing her father for trying to profit off of the name as well.

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Who is Rihanna's dad Ronald Fenty? The relationship between the business, movie, and music star and her father has been rocky since before her stardom. The two have spoken about one another in the press for years.

Here's what we know.

1. Rihanna is suing her dad for using the Fenty name.

According to TMZ, Rihanna's lawsuit against Ronald claims her father is using his relationship to her to promote himself. The lawsuit goes on to allege that Ronald started a talent company called Fenty Entertainment after Rihanna had already trademarked the Fenty name.

Rihanna also claimed that her father attempted to pose as her representative in order to book shows under Rihanna's name without clearing it with her first.

TMZ reported that she has sent him multiple cease and desist letters, but to no avail, according to court documents. 

2. Her father was a “crack addict,” according to Rihanna.

In 2007, 10 years before the launch of her beauty collection, Rihanna told the Mirror about her experience with drugs in her household as a child.

“Even as a toddler,” she said, “I learned that my mum and dad would argue when there was foil paper in the ashtray.”

Rihanna explained that the family struggled to eat as her father funneled funds into his addiction. Rihanna had to take care of her two younger brothers while her mother — who eventually divorced Ronald — worked.

“Drugs are powerful things and they take over your whole world,” Rihanna said.

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2. Rihanna's dad was abusive.

After the infamous end to her relationship with Chris Brown, Rihanna sat down with ABC News and gave an interview about her relationship, as well as her past experience with abuse.

Rihanna revealed in the 2009 interview that growing up in Barbados, she witnessed her father beating her mother. Once he broke her mother’s nose; she refused to go to the hospital to get it treated. Rihanna said she’d try to get them to stop fighting.

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“Domestic violence is not somebody that people want anybody to know, so she would just hide it in the house,” she said in the interview. “I always said to myself, ‘I’m never going to date somebody like my dad, never.’”

3. Ronald Fenty liked Chris Brown, even after he assaulted his daughter.

Rihanna’s father spoke with the Daily Mail in 2014, a few days after Rihanna’s inaugural Diamond Ball for her Clara-Lionel Foundation charity, which he was shortly escorted out of for drinking. (The year before, she had sent him to a $58,000 rehab program.)

He said that he forgave Brown long ago, and admitted to having a soft spot for his daughter’s ex. “When I see in the papers he’s in trouble, I think ’Chris what the hell are you doing man?’ The guy has got so much talent you know what I mean, to just screw up like that.”

Her father said that in the past, he’d be happy if they got back together, but had recently recognized it was unlikely.

4. Ronald also spoke out about Rihanna’s more recent beau Hassan Jameel.

In 2017, Hollywood Life reported on Ronald Fenty’s opinion regarding Rihanna’s new relationship with Saudi Arabian billionaire Hassan Jameel (Rihanna confirmed their relationship in Vogue's June 2018 issue). He’d told the Sun that when he heard his daughter was reportedly seeing someone, he “was looking for someone of color, a darker color.”

He also wasn’t too sure about Jameel’s wealth. “I didn’t know he was a billionaire. Too little money, or too much money can’t make you happy, you need to something in between [sic].”

Nevertheless, Ronald said that what matters to him is that his daughter is happy.

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Alison Cerri is an editorial intern at YourTango. When she's not writing, she can be found on a run or at rugby practice. Follow her on Instagram.