Rihanna and her camp are on rumor control.
Legal reps for the 27-year-old singer are denying reports which claim an alleged former publicist planted a story about Rihanna and JAY Z having an affair in order to boost her career. The claims appear in the unauthorized biography “Becoming Beyoncé” by R. Randy Taraborrelli.
In the book, Jonathan Hay gives details on his task to promote Rihanna’s 2005 single “Pon de Replay” and the lengths he allegedly went to make it a hit.
“I was working for Vada Nobles, who wrote and produced ‘Pon de Replay,’” Hay said in the book. “It was my job to make sure she hit . . . In an effort to generate some interest . . . I began to plant . . . stories that Jay and Rihanna were having a hot romance.”
But Rihanna’s legal team and Nobles tell Page Six that Hay had no involvement with the singer and his claims of being a “former publicist” are a lie.
“Hay was never Rihanna’s publicist or had any personal or professional relationship with her,” a lawyer for the star said.
Nobles added, “I met this guy once, maybe twice . . . I did not hire Jonathan Hay to promote Rihanna [or] ‘Pon de Replay’ . . . He had nothing to do with Rihanna. Someone I knew referred this guy [to me as a publicist], I said, ‘Let’s see what he can do’ . . . He was using my name and what I was doing to get traction for himself.”
Hay maintains that he was hired as the publicist for “Pon de Replay,” stating that Rihanna was “nobody” back in the day and needed the press. He added that he hasn’t read “Becoming Beyoncé” yet and doesn’t know what it says.
(Photo: Larry Busacca/Getty Images For Roc Nation)