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The Rap on Oprah

Jan. 30 2008, Published 8:04 a.m. ET

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Has daytime talk show queenOprah Winfrey trained her sights on 20-year-oldrapper Lucy Diamonds? The Louisville-based artistsays she first came to the host’s attention after recording a songentitled “Sorry Right Number,” a celeb-trashing rant in the spiritof Eminem, which features the near-rhyming couplet, “Yeah I got drunk and I finger-fuckedOprah/ I’m sorry I’m rambling, why don’t we start over.”

Diamonds claims Winfrey got wind of the song and made her objections known through anassistant, but that the rapper, undeterred--and clearly sensing the PR value of such a spat--refused to back down. Instead, she recorded a follow up, “Sorry Right Number II.” A sampling:

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“Now I received an email from Oprah’s assistant/ Saying my careerwould be over in an instant/ If I released that song and put the diss in/Oh’ you rang the bell, bitch I thought you’d go the distance...I gota Hippo from Harpo whose appetite’s hungry/ Damn Oprah, don’t youhave enough money?”

Diamond claims the resulting controversy was enough to garner her an exclusive deal with Apple to release the songs on iTunes--and a ceaseand desist letter from Winfrey's attorneys. According to Diamonds, Oprah even “asked” Apple to back out ofthe agreement. Fearing, perhaps, an Hermès-style beatdown, the company complied without offering any explanation, she claims. Winfrey’s spokeswoman, CarlyUbersox, called Diamonds' version of events “completely untrue,”saying that Winfrey's production company, Harpo Inc., has "no record" of a cease and desist letter and that Oprah is not even aware of the rapper’s music. Diamonds claims she shares a close mutual friend with Winfrey, but would not elaborate. Apple reps did not return repeated calls and emails seeking comment.

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UPDATE: Our super-sleuth friend, Bill Bastone of the Smoking Gun, refutes the cease and desist letter Diamonds claims she was sent by Oprah as a forgery. Confusing matters further, Diamonds posted Bastone's emails online herself and continues to stand by her story. Is she an innocent victim? Or the perpetrator of a twisted (and, in all likelihood, actionable) guerrilla marketing campaign?



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