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Talk About Our Love

Brandy's ex says they were never married. Robert Smith, father of the singer's daughter Sy'rai, says the two feigned marriage to maintain her image

Brandy | LIVING SINGLE Brandy responds to her ex-beau's allegations
Image credit: Brandy: Jim Cooper/AP
LIVING SINGLE Brandy responds to her ex-beau's allegations

In 2002, when Brandy announced she was pregnant, she also said that she had secretly married the baby's father, producer Robert Smith, a year earlier. Now, two years after daughter Sy'rai was born, and a year after the couple announced their split, Smith says they were never really married. According to MTV News, Smith gave interviews this week to New York radio stations WBLS and WQHT, saying that he and Brandy feigned marriage in order to maintain the ''Moesha'' star's squeaky-clean image. The couple even starred in a limited-run reality show for MTV chronicling the pregnancy and childbirth.

In fact, Smith said, he had been dating another woman, a film producer, at the time he impregnated Brandy. He said he and that woman have reunited, and that she is now expecting his child.

Smith's revelation came only a month after the 24-year-old singer released her new album, ''Afrodisiac.'' In a statement, Brandy (full name: Brandy Norwood) said she was ''hurt and shocked'' by Smith's disclosures but did not deny them. She said that, rather than a legal marriage, she and Smith shared a ''spiritual union and a true commitment to each other.'' Plus, she said, ''We still share a common bond through our daughter, Sy'rai,'' She complained, ''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 responded with a statement of his own, insisting that he was a responsible father who had 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,'' he said. ''Brandy and I have many things to work out over a long period of time, [and] will hopefully [head] in a more positive direction.''

Originally posted Jul 22, 2004