Brandy Insists She Didn't Lie About Marriage To Save Her Image

Singer says she and Robert Smith had 'non-traditional marriage.'

Following Robert Smith's allegations that he and Brandy were never legally wed, Brandy sat down with MTV News to give her side of the story.

"He was one of my good friends; he had moved on and I had moved on," Brandy said Monday. "That's why all of this is crazy to me. If he's upset with me ... we could work it out in private. We don't have to do it in a public way."

In early July, Smith made appearances on New York radio stations WBLS-FM and Hot 97 to promote his new artist Amanda, who recently signed to his label, Big Bert Entertainment, and is dropping her first single in mid-August. During the interview, Smith alleged that he and Brandy were never married, but feigned matrimony to keep up appearances for the then-pregnant singer (see "Brandy's 'Ex-Husband' Says They Were Never Really Married").

"We had a non-traditional marriage," Brandy said in response to Smith's claims. "I didn't go to city hall, I didn't have a minister, but we both knew what we wanted and we both knew what we had and I guess just from hearing the things he's been saying, he doesn't even feel the same way I felt."

During his radio interviews, Smith claimed he never loved Brandy in a romantic way, but continues to love her as a friend.

In early 2002, Brandy announced she was pregnant and that she and Smith were wed in the summer of 2001. Smith had been involved with another woman but claimed to have broken off relations with her to be with Brandy. Brandy and Smith are currently in the midst of a custody case involving daughter Sy'rai, born in June 2002.

"Right now," Brandy said, "it's really about my fans knowing that whatever I believed spiritually at the time is what I believed. I just wouldn't deliberately lie to them just to save my image."

In May of this year, Brandy spoke about the end of her marriage, explaining that she was not in love with Smith when they split the previous year. "It was just a realization for me that I wasn't in love," she said. "I think if I was deeply in love, [the split] would have been tough" (see "Looking Back, Brandy Says End Of Marriage Wasn't Painful").

Just two weeks after Smith's radio interviews, Brandy was dealt a better hand when boyfriend Quentin Richardson decorated hers with an 11 1/2-carat diamond engagement ring (see "Brandy And Quentin Richardson To Tie The Knot"). Brandy expressed certainty that both she and Richardson want the relationship to go in the same direction.

"I think he was planning the engagement for a couple of months now," she said. "We want a traditional marriage, where we actually have a huge wedding and my dad can walk me down the aisle and give me away. That's what we both want."

Although no date has been set, Brandy expects to tie the knot sometime next summer.