VH1’s excellent documentary series ‘Behind the Music’ explored R&B singer Toni Braxton’s meteoric rise to fame, and the many problems that sometimes accompanies the fast track to success.
Braxton opened up about her contract dispute with LaFace Records founders LA Reid and Babyface Edmonds, who produced such hits as “Un-break My Heart” and “Another Sad Love Song.”
But Braxton saved the most venom for talk show host Oprah Winfrey who was riding high in the TV ratings when she interviewed Braxton about her money problems in 1998.
Rather than be sympathetic toward an artist who was taken to the cleaners by her record label, Winfrey pressured Braxton to explain her extravagant purchases, such as her Gucci flatware. “I’m Oprah Winfrey and I don’t have Gucci flatware,” said Oprah as a defeated Braxton wiped away a tear.
“She was so frickin’ mean to me, I was in shock,” Toni remembers. It was hard not to feel sympathy for a woman who was ripped to shreds by Oprah in front of a national audience.
It was a defining moment in Braxton’s once notable career. With her career in flames and her demanding sisters riding her back, Braxton fell into a deep depression. The bank foreclosed on her condo, she filed for bankruptcy, and her possessions were auctioned off to pay her debts.
Braxton eventually won a lawsuit against Reid and Edmonds, and she signed a $20 million recording contract with LaFace.
But her money problems are far from over. Braxton filed for bankruptcy again in 2010. Her bankruptcy trustee accuses her of transferring cash into her estranged husband’s account in an effort to hide her assets.
Braxton reportedly transferred $53,490 to ex-husband Keri Lewis, according to the trustee of her estate. The trustee is suing Lewis for the return of the funds.
Lewis and Braxton have two sons together, Denim, 11, and Diesel, 8.
Watch the full episode of Behind the Music: Toni Braxton below.
Video courtesy of Yardie