Rap superstar Jay-Z has found himself at the centre of a major race row after the luxury New York store Barneys was accused of racially profiling black customers.
Jay-Z is thought to have a multi-million pound deal with Barneys to design a clothing range for Christmas, as well as its festive window display.
The current furore began when Barneys customers Trayon Christian and Kayla Phillips announced they were going to sue after being detained by police while shopping. Christian, 19, is suing after being accused of credit card fraud in April while Phillips, 21, is seeking legal redress after being stopped by detectives after buying a Celine handbag in February.
"They were very rough," said Phillips. "They kept asking me what I bought and saying, 'Show us your card.'... They kept asking how I could afford this expensive bag," Phillips said.
Jay-Z has come in for heavy social media criticism from fans asking him to break ties with Barneys over the allegations.
The New York rapper said he was waiting for the facts to be established. "I haven't made any comments because I am waiting on facts and the outcome of a meeting between community leaders and Barneys."
In a statement, Jay-Z said: "I move and speak based on facts and not emotion. I haven't made any comments because I am waiting on facts and the outcome of a meeting between community leaders and Barneys. Why am I being demonised, denounced and thrown on the cover of a newspaper for not speaking immediately?"