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Last week, Brande wrote about Patti LaBelle’s appearance on “Watch What Happens Live,” with Andy Cohen. It’s become the custom for celebrities to expose some unknown secret or unconfirmed rumor on the show.

When Patti sat down on the couch, Cohen asked her about Luther Vandross’ sexuality. In response, Patti said, that it was something the two of them discussed

“We talked about it. Basically, he did not want his mother to be – although she might have known, he wasn’t going to come out and say this to the world. And he had a lot of lady fans and he told me he just didn’t want to upset the world.”

While Luther Vandross’ sexuality was hardly a secret to anyone, this type of confirmation of it was something we hadn’t seen before.

I watched and wondered what Luther would have made of Ms. LaBelle telling his story for him? I think the fact that we have to wonder how he would feel speaks to the reason why people felt LaBelle spoke out of turn on the show.

Wendy Williams has been the most vocal about LaBelle’s comments.

“Andy can ask but she should have said ‘No comment.’ If he’d ask me something like that, it’s ok for me to talk about it. I didn’t know Luther Vandross, he wasn’t my friend. But it’s not okay to talk about it when it’s your best friend. Seems like a violation.”

Wendy’s rationale is obviously off. How is it ok for you, a stranger, to speak about Luther’s sexuality but not someone who actually knows something about it? It’s hypocritical and counter-intuitive to the valid argument that LaBelle shouldn’t have shared because Luther never did. And now, he’s no longer here to speak for himself.

Not to mention, this type of argument coming from Wendy Williams loses its weight when you consider the fact that she exposed the fact that Method Man’s wife was battling cancer. I guess Wendy felt because they weren’t friends, it was ok for her to tell the world about the woman’s medical condition. SMH.

Anyway, in response to LaBelle’s comment and the fact that Luther Vandross had to die before the truth about his life was confirmed, comedian Marsha Warfield, best known for her role in “Nightcourt,” stepped forward with a story of her own. Like Luther’s it had to do with her mother and her sexuality.

In a Facebook post, she wrote:



She brings up a good point about our focus being placed on who and who shouldn’t tell, rather than the conditions that make people feel like they have to hide.

What do you make of the whole thing, should Patti LaBelle have this bit of information? Does the fact that we all “knew,” make this admission any less of a violation? Should we focus on the culture rather than Luther’s decision to hide and Patti’s decision to share?

Veronica Wells is the culture editor at She is also the author of “Bettah Days” and the creator of the website NoSugarNoCreamMag. You can follow her on Facebook and on Instagram and Twitter @VDubShrug.
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