Aretha Franklin is coming out swinging against fellow legend Dionne Warwick, accusing her of making up a story that Franklin was Whitney Houston's godmother, even though the alleged offense happened five years ago. "She blatantly lied on me ... fully well knowing what she was doing," Franklin said in a phone interview. The Queen of Soul called the AP on Tuesday, after sending a lengthy fax the day before, to address what she claimed was a "libelous" statement against her made five years ago at Houston's funeral. At the time, Warwick told funeral-goers that Franklin was there and introduced her, but then realized she wasn't in attendance. "'Ree's not here, but she is here," Warwick said, referring to Franklin by a nickname. "She loves Whitney as if she were born to her. She is her godmother."
Though Cissy Houston, Whitney Houston's mother, said in the days afterward that Franklin wasn't Houston's godmother (it was Darlene Love), Franklin felt the comment was damaging to her and planned to address it at a later date. Five years later, Franklin feels that time is now. "There's been so much going on around her (Houston), around the service, around the drugs, around her and Bobby (Brown) supposed to be fighting, I didn't want to add anything to that and I didn't want to be a part of that," she explains. Franklin saw Warwick last week at the Tribeca Film Festival and says Warwick tried to talk to her backstage. "She said, 'Give me a hug.' I said, 'Oh hell no. You couldn't be serious,'" Franklin says. When asked for comment, Warwick's representative said: "She will not dignify a response to the statement made by Aretha Franklin."