Wife of billionaire says she can use N-word because Alicia Keys is her 'black friend'

AOL.com Editors

The wife of a billionaire hedge fund manager defended her casual use of the N-word, suggesting her "black friend" Alicia Keys wouldn't mind it, according to court documents obtained by Page Six.

Lisa Falcone, whose husband Philip Falcone is known for admitting to the SEC in 2013 that he committed securities fraud, became defensive when her personal chef, Brian Villanueva, was visibly disturbed by her use of the word. She allegedly used it after meeting Villanueva's girlfriend, who is black, in July 2019.

Villaneueva's girlfriend was on hand to help him prepare food for the Falcones' dinner party in the Hamptons, according to a new wage dispute lawsuit. The morning after the party, Falcone allegedly expressed surprise about the woman's language skills.

Scroll to continue with content
Ad

"Your girlfriend speaks very well. She seems educated," Falcone allegedly told him. "I would describe her as a chocolate-covered marshmallow."

She then allegedly asked, "Do you use the word 'n—' at home with your girlfriend?"

Villaneuva says that after Falcone noticed the expression on his face, she became defensive, saying that she meant it as a compliment and that Alicia Keys, in contrast, doesn't speak "eloquently." She also allegedly said that it's fine for her to use the N-word because "I'm Puerto Rican and grew up in Spanish Harlem, so I can speak like that."

Keys and her husband, Swizz Beats, had attended the Falcones' aforementioned dinner party.

RELATED: Photos of Lisa Falcone at prominent New York City events

Later that day, Villaneuva approached the couple while they were out on the beach and told them he was quitting. 

"Rather than accepting Plaintiff’s resignation, Defendant Lisa Falcone asked Plaintiff not to resign and stated ‘talk to my black friends’ (seemingly referring to Alicia Keys and Swizz Beatz — both of whom were at the beach with the Falcones at that time), and emphasized ‘they will tell you that I am not racist,'" the documents read.

Villaneuva says he is owed $4,230.76 in unpaid wages. He also claims that the couple said they would only pay him if both he and his girlfriend signed a confidentiality agreement that would bar them from telling anyone what Falcone had said. Villaneuva and his girlfriend chose not to sign.

The Falcones are no strangers to lawsuits. The family's former butler, who is gay, once sued them after Lisa allegedly reached into his pants and grabbed his genitals, telling him that he needed a "good f--k to turn him straight."

Further, in addition to the SEC case, they made separate headlines in 2012 when Lisa, who "smelled of alcohol," was arrested for driving while impaired — without a license to boot. Her husband stood on the side of the road yelling "Don't take it! Don't take it!" when cops told her to complete a Breathalyzer test, Page Six reported at the time.

In 2019, the Falcones made history when they sold one of their New York City townhomes for a record $80 million.

Keys has not publicly commented on the allegations.

RELATED: See photos of Alicia Keys and Swizz Beats together

What to Read Next

Back