Soul singer Smokey Robinson is embroiled in a bitter family feud with his niece in the wake of his sister's death, amid accusations he abandoned the women financially as she battled cancer. Robinson's sister Rose Ella Jones lost her battle against stomach cancer on April 26. The former nurse played a big part in Robinson's early career, helping him write hits including "Quiet Storm" and "Virgin Man".
According to her daughter, Stacye Jones, Robinson, who was supporting the pair by providing $1,225 in monthly rent, stopped writing cheques after he was asked to pay for his sister's at-home nurse. Jones tells the National Enquirer, "I asked Smokey if he would pay for home nursing. He told me coldly, 'Your mother never did anything for me. Let the state look after her.' It broke my heart, but I had to put her into a home."
"Smokey's accountant wrote to me right away to say he would no longer be helping out with the rent and bills because he had economic problems like everyone else."
The situation worsened when Stacye suffered her own health setbacks - the 48 year old, who is crippled by painful arthritis, suffered near-fatal complications during a routine surgery last month. Jones, who survives on monthly Social Security from the U.S. Government, now says she faces being thrown out on the street without Robinson's help.
She adds, "Smokey knows I've been in the hospital and that I'm being evicted, but he hasn't lifted a finger to help me. My mother - the big sister who helped him so much - must be turning over in her grave."