Fat Joe, Liza Rios Continue Dispute Over Big Pun Royalties
Â A dispute over the royalties from the music of the late Big Pun have re-emerged between the rapper’s Terror Squad group mate Fat Joe and his wife Liza Rios. Fat Joe addressed allegations Rios made concerning her being denied royalties for 10 years from her husband’s music in a recent interview on New York radio station Hot 97. According to reports, the lack of compensation from Pun’s music has resulted in Rios and her children reportedly living in a homeless shelter in New York.
“Basically after Pun passed I didn’t receive a lot of money…I received exactly $160,000 something from publishing. And the house that I was paying the mortgage for, which was my husband’s that he bought the house. It wasn’t paid out. The five years that I was living there before I sold it, I spent over $120,000 just on the mortgage. Then you got the kids and the food and the clothes and legal fees. And when there’s no money comin’ in, there’s just money comin’ out.”
Maintaining her vow to always have Pun’s back, Rios set out to “to get what Pun rightfully deserves” in terms of money owed to her late husband. According to Rios, Pun does not receive any money from material released since his death nor from iTunes or ringtone sales.
Fat Joe argued that she and her family received royalty payments for Big Pun’s Endangered Species album and sought help from him, after admitting she had no money to support herself and her family.
“She steps to me and says ‘Joe, we’re broke. We got no money,’ the rapper told Hot 97 hosts Pete Rosenberg, Cipha Sounds and K. Foxx. “I said ‘Well listen. People are not going to be sorry for you, because you’re Big Pun’s wife forever. I’m gonna get you some money. Now what do you do?"
As the interview progressed, Fat Joe revealed that Rios approached him a second time for money after confessing how she “spent the money unwisely” and was “doing bad again.”
Despite writing another check for her, the rapper was put off by Rios’ comments concerning Pun’s physical abuse of her during their marriage in video releases and an episode of E!'s True Hollywood Story that featured the wives of rappers.
“Now, the controversy happens to where how could you expect to live off of Big Pun’s name, bein’ his wife, and you puttin’ out DVDs of him pistol whippin you and you callin’ him an animal and you callin’ him a beast,” Fat Joe stated. “This is the problem I have with Liza Rios is that at the same time as sayin’ ‘I’m Pun’s wife. Take care of me. I’m Pun’s wife.’ She’s basically disrespecting his legacy.”
Although he has tried to help out the Rios family, Fat Joe said his efforts have been thwarted by Liza Rios, whom he feels has “brainwashed” her children in to thinking that “Joe robbed them” and is not taking care of them.
The rapper countered the accusations while alluding to having royalty statements that support his claim of not taking home any money from Pun’s music.
Moments after Fat Joe’s interview, Liza Rios called Hot 97 to present her side of the story. During that interview, she explained that Fat Joe did not assist her and her family nor did she receive “hundreds of thousands of dollars” for Endangered Species.
“Basically they told me I had no rights, that the only person who can see or switch anything is Fat Joe. To this day, Sony does not give me any kind of leeway to see anything unless it's Joe that demands them and tells them that I can see anything,” Rios said while also disputing Fat Joe’s statement about her not finding a job and living off of Pun.