Saturday, December 6, 2008
Brandy: Finally Talking About The Lies And Deceit
For the first time ever, Brandy Norwood is opening up about her fake marriage and the "traumatic" car accident which left a woman dead on the highway.
The former chart-topping music superstar and UPN actress tells US Weekly that she publicly deceived the media and her fans about her quasi-marriage to music producer Robert Smith because of her public image.
"I lied because of the fear of what people would think and the pressure to be a good role model," the 29-year-old single mother told the tabloid.
Ironically, her media revelation is timed well with the release of her new album, 'Human,' which is scheduled for release next month.
"Our relationship was very real, we just weren't legally married," she said about her union with Smith, who is also the father of her seven-year-old daughter Sy'rai.
In 2002, on the heels of the release of her new album, 'Full Moon,' Norwood announced she'd secretly wed Smith the year before - just four months before giving birth to their baby. She was 22 years old.
In an elaborate cover-up, the pair even went to the extremes of acting as husband and wife on MTV reality series 'Brandy: A Special Delivery,' which documented their daughter's birth.
A real reality set in when Smith (pictured right with Norwood during better days), a cousin of super-producer Rodney Jerkins, told a radio station the marriage never happened -- after calling it quits in 2003.
Career-wise, things got janky for Norwood, who actually predated Britney Spears and Beyonce Knowles as being the queen of the mainstream teen music scene; her 2004 album, 'Aphrodisiac' didn't live up to industry expectations and led to the end of her longtime association with industry powerhouse Atlantic Records.
According to sales figures the project, featuring a collaboration with Kanye West, debuted at # 3 on the 'Billboard' charts and has sold 361,000 copies.
A on-and-off again relationship/engagement to NBA star Quentin Richardson soon followed.
And then she was involved in a 2006 multicar collision that left a 38-year-old woman dead.
Norwood tells 'US Weekly' that she kept her daughter, who recently appeared in a footwear advertisement campaign with her, in the dark. "It was a very tough time, and I still have never talked about it with Sy'rai," she said. "I had to be a mother and stay strong for her. I'd cry when she'd go to sleep so she wouldn't see me like that - I had a responsibility to her."
After a year-long cloud of darkness (and negative mainstream media attention), Norwood was vindicated of any wrongdoing. There was no evidence of drugs or alcohol in her system, she was never charged, but a $50 million lawsuit by the victim's family looms.
In the aftermath of the drama, the former child star, known for her bubbly persona, remains optimistic about her future.
"I think this is my year because I've decided that I'm going to go with the flow in my life. The purpose of my life is music. It's my responsibility to give the fans something they've been waiting for, something they deserve."