‘I’d been wanting to change my nose for years – I wanted it to be less broad. But because of the conservative ideas I was raised with, I struggled with the thought of altering my body.And of course, I later got my boobies done. I’d always been shaped like a gymnast – size double A breasts and thunder thighs. In fact, I wish I would’ve had lipo on my inner thighs. I’ve always hated them’I loved how they looked. At last – Homely Toni Braxton had some curves. Before I got the breast implants, my stylist would use duct tape beneath my tiny boobs to make it look like I had cleavageTo this day, I am still happy I got that nose job. Yes, I wish I’d gotten it smaller, but the new nose did fit my face so much better’.Her first big financial payday came in 1996 with an advance on future recordings that came to a whopping $1.6 million before paying taxes, agents, lawyers, managers – which left her $600,000. So she started spending.
‘Now people started asking, ‘Who’s the short girl with the chubby cheeks, the pixie haircut, and the big ol’ butt? I never thought I had a big butt —though I do have Serena Williams thighs
She bought a house, a mahogany Schimmel piano, leased a Jeep Cherokee. She began sleeping in the double suite penthouse at the Four Seasons in New York.
My only regret was having no one to share the room with me’
Clive Davis, the famed record producer and music industry executive, wanted her to go out on tour with saxophonist Kenny G. so she could develop the same crossover appeal as Whitney Houston and develop a white audience.But she needed to work with black promoters as well.
She tried backing out of the tour but it was too late; tickets were being sold. When the tour ended, she had to borrow a million dollars from Arista to pay for the band, the sets, lights, background singers and dancers, wardrobe.
Nothing was going right. She couldn’t keep up with payments she owed Arista. She sold her home in Atlanta and moved to LA but she still needed to borrow more money to pay for the tour.
After Arista deducted their costs and production of the album that was selling with the hit Un-Break My Heart, her royalty check was $2000.
Despite five Grammys, five American Music Awards and three MTV Video Music Awards at the end of 1997, her debts totaled nearly $4 million.She had to sue her producer and Arista and file for Chapter 7 bankruptcy. She had signed a bad contract that allowed the record company to collect marketing costs of her albums from her instead of underwriting the expenses themselves.
‘Even though I was trying to act strong, I felt broken.’ She cried her way through her depression and ate Twizzlers and Kit Kats.She finally reached an agreement with the label and Toni received $20 million. But then there were agents, managers, and attorneys to pay, along with taxes. She moved back to Atlanta.
Getting Married and having an abortion
Love was in the cards this time and she fell hard for Keri Lewis, a keyboardist and producer. She got pregnant but decided that the baby should be aborted because she was taking Accutane for acne, a drug that has since been taken off the market.Keri and Toni married in 2001 and eight months later had a baby boy, Denim. Two years later, she would have a second baby boy, Diezel was diagnosed with autism.
She had signed a waiver at the time she got the prescription, saying she understood possible catastrophic side effects of deformation of a fetus for up to two years after ceasing to take the drug.
I believed I had taken a life – an action that I thought God might one day punish me for’.
I have sometimes wondered whether God was punishing me for the abortion I had years ago by allowing my son to have autism. Or by giving me so many health issues.
Her health kept deteriorating with the pressure to perform and stress over her deteriorating marriage.Divorce was inevitable...but Toni and her ex have but remained friends. A second Chapter 7 bankruptcy filing was also inevitable.
She was now being sued to cover the cost of the cancelled shows at the Flamingo. She was the producer and the insurance company was not going to pick up the cost because she failed to list her health conditions. She had also taken out a personal loan for millions to launch the Vegas showShe lost her home in Vegas. The bank foreclosed on her home in Atlanta and she moved into a rented home in LA.She’s now on the drug Kenalog, a steroid for the lupus. She also gets shots that cause her face to balloon up.