unauthorised biography that's "trashy, vindictive and full of lies" about your life? How can you stop thousands of people reading what you regard as damaging tripe?
Aretha Franklin has let rip at the biography by David Ritz which reportedly claims she's jealous of other singers, fought alcoholism at the height of her fame, is delusional about her love life and was promiscuous from an early age.
She strongly contests what he's written. "As many of you are aware, there is a very trashy book out there full of lies and more lies about me. Clearly the writer has no class, no conscience or standards!
"His actions are obviously vindictive because I edited out some crazy statements he had the gall to try and put in my book written 15 years ago. Evidently, he has been carrying this hatred ever since."
Of course if the claims in a biography are unflattering, insulting and destructive, then the subject is highly likely to deny everything and accuse the writer of making it all up, peddling unverified rumours and gossip, and having some deep-seated grudge.
When the two are in such heated disagreement, who can possibly know if the book is telling it like it is or if, as she maintains, it's a pack of vicious lies?
In such situations, my immediate reaction is not to read the book at all, because if its truthfulness is doubtful, what's the point? I might as well be reading some muck-raking tabloid.
The obvious thing to do is sue for libel, but that's a costly business and the outcome might not be in her favour. So far she hasn't gone down that road as she's hoping her statement is enough to stop people reading it, or at least taking it seriously.
But I doubt her reputation will suffer, whatever the wild claims. Is anyone bothered that she's a flawed human being who might have behaved badly at times?