The war of words between Lee Daniels and Mo’Nique just took a dramatic new turn.
Daniels sat down for an interview with TMZ, and addressed Mo’Nique’s accusations that he, Oprah Winfrey and Tyler Perry blacklisted her after she won an Academy Award for her role in Precious.
The director insisted they didn’t torpedo Mo’Nique’s Hollywood career, she did it herself.
“Mo’Nique, I fought hard for her to get that job. I wanted her to get that job,” Daniels said. “She was paid her money. She was paid the money for the budget that we had, and for her to bad mouth myself, and Tyler and Oprah, is disrespectful and it’s wrong. She is wrong. She’s out of pocket. She’s really wrong.”
Mo’Nique slammed the three last year during a stand-up special at the Apollo Theater.
“No I was not blackballed, I was white-balled by some black d—s who have no balls,” she said during the show. “Thank you Mr. Lee Daniels, thank you Mr. Tyler Perry, thank you Ms. Oprah Winfrey.”
In recent weeks, Daniels has been involved in another public dispute, this time with Roc-A-Fella records mogul Damon Dash, who said he loaned the then-aspiring director $2 million dollars to get his career off the ground. But after Daniels made it big, Dash said he never got his money back.
The Empire co-creator admitted in the TMZ interview that he was wrong, and Dash “deserves his money.” Daniels then said the situation with Mo’Nique is completely different.
“I respect her as an actor because she gave me her soul, but I gave her my soul and for that, she was given the Golden Globe and the Academy Award,” he said. “It breaks my heart that she feels that we blackballed her. No one blackballed her. Mo’Nique blackballed her and for her to continue to talk about Oprah, and myself and Tyler, is disrespectful.”
“I don’t understand her motive. I don’t get it,” he added.
Daniels has said in previous interviews that Mo’Nique made unreasonable demands during the awards season campaign for Precious. Daniels directed the film. Perry and Winfrey produced it.
Last week, Rolling Out released a conversation that Mo’Nique secretly recorded between herself, her husband-manager Sidney Hicks and Perry, in which Perry can be heard saying he believed Mo’Nique should have been paid to promote Precious overseas.
You can watch Daniels new interview below. He talks about Mo’Nique at the 10:20 mark.