© Jesse Grant/Getty Images/ViacomPatrisse Cullors and her $6M mansion
Black Lives Matter co-founder Patrisse Cullors denied intentional wrongdoing in an interview with the Associated Press
regarding a litany of allegations of personally benefiting off the group's donations.
The Associated Press
interview featured Cullors addressing a New York Magazine expose
last month that detailed how the Black Lives Matter leader personally benefited from donations.
Cullors addressed the $6 million Los Angeles mansion the group bought in early 2021 saying, "We really wanted to make sure that the global network foundation had an asset that wasn't just financial resources
, and we understood that not many black-led organizations have property. They don't own their property."
However, that statement came after admissions from the former BLM leader that she did use the space for personal parties
on at least two occasions. Cullors "hosted her son's birthday party and a gathering to celebrate President Biden's inauguration at the six-bedroom property early last year," The New York Post
In the interview, Cullors responded to the allegations that her family members were hired to work on the mansion property. Her mother got a cleaning job, while her brother became head of security, and Patrisse justified that by saying they had "skill sets" the organization was looking for.
She added, "The idea that (the foundation) received millions of dollars and then I hid those dollars in my bank account is absolutely false. That's a false narrative. It's impacted me personally and professionally, that people would accuse me of stealing from black people."
detailed the various efforts by Black Lives Matter leadership to intervene in stopping the "6 million dollar house" story from getting out. "Our angle — needs to be to deflate ownership of the property,"
BLM leadership communications reportedly said at the time.
That narrative, and the claim that the property is a communal house, were front and center in Monday's Associated Press interview with Cullors. She once again depicted herself as the "fall guy"
for this misstep of the movement at-large.
In the interview Cullors admitted to receiving $120,000 in "consulting"
during the organization's early days, but admits that the "radical transparency" reputation for BLM has been messy.
Earlier this year, Black Lives Matter had to shut down
fundraising after several liberal states threatened litigation over the previous failure to disclose finances. Amazon dropped
BLM from their charity fundraising programs during this time. The Black Lives Matter Global Foundation brought on Hillary Clinton campaign lawyer Marc Elias to help file the proper paperwork.
But when it came to the earlier revelation that BLMGNF raised $90 million, Cullors responded that they "weren't the only organization to receive millions of dollars."
"The only regret I have with BLM is wishing that we could have paused for one to two years, to just not do any work and just focus on the infrastructure," she said.
When Cullors stepped down
from the organization in May 2021, it was as many of the spending scandal reports were coming to light. Patrisse still stands by the claim that she'd had been planning to resign long beforehand, to work on personal projects.
At the bottom of the Associated Press
interview, a pair of admissions from Cullors was included that addressed using the Los Angeles property for personal reasons. In January 2021, she threw an inauguration party that involved several BLM Los Angeles members and supporters of the movement. Two months later she threw a birthday party for her son at the property, and in that case was willing to pay a rental fee to the foundation for the event.
"I look back at that and think, that probably wasn't the best idea
," Cullors confessed.
Alicia Garza parted ways with BLM leadership after 2015, and she told the AP
"because there was a lack of response (to public questions), specifically from the global network foundation, it allowed for people to fill in the blanks."
Last Friday, Fox News Digital reported
that Cullors made millions of dollars for a separate nonprofit venture chaired by her. The outlet discovered that Cullors' Dignity and Power Now group made $4.2 million in 2020, with $2.5 million of that total coming from the "Silicon Valley Community Foundation."