Three years after he allegedly wed Brandy in secret, the father of the R&B singer's daughter is claiming the two were never really married.
In interviews earlier this week with New York radio stations WBLS-FM and WQHT-FM, Robert Smith insisted that he and the 24-year-old Brandy, who released her fourth album, Afrodisiac, on June 29, never legally wed. Rather, the couple just portrayed the notion of nuptials to preserve Brandy's image.
And just as Brandy had claimed that she wasn't in love with Smith when the couple split up last year (see "Looking Back, Brandy Says End of Marriage Wasn't Painful"), Smith said he never loved Brandy in a romantic way, but that he continues to love her as a friend.
In early 2002, at the same time Brandy announced she was pregnant, she broke the news that she and Smith had gotten married in the summer of 2001. Before he began his relationship with Brandy, Smith was involved with another woman, a film producer, and initially had sustained relationships with both women. When Brandy became pregnant, the decision was made to tell people they were married.
Brandy gave birth to daughter Sy'rai in June 2002, as documented in the MTV program "Diary Presents: Brandy — Special Delivery," and the couple parted ways a year later. Smith has since gotten back with the film producer, and they are expecting a child in two months.
Brandy, in a statement issued by her publicist, claimed she was "hurt and shocked" by Smith's revelations. Instead of a legally recognized marriage, she claims they had a "spiritual union and a true commitment to each other."
"We still share a common bond through our daughter, Sy'rai," the statement continued. "He is not thinking about her, me, or what we had together. He is trying to destroy my reputation while using me and our daughter to get publicity and radio airplay for his artists. I am stunned that he is being so dirty about it."
Smith, a music producer, said he appeared on the radio stations to introduce Amanda, a new artist signed to his Big Bert Entertainment imprint who is dropping the single "Please Mister" in August.
Following Brandy's statement, Smith issued one of his own. "My comments were in no way made to take away any responsibility from Sy'rai emotionally or financially," it read. "And in no way am I an irresponsible father. ... I have recently been granted joint custody of Sy'rai. When breaking off relationships it's always difficult, and I prefer not to air our dirty laundry through the media. I was just stating the truth. Brandy and I have many things to work out over a long period of time, [and] will hopefully [head] in a more positive direction."