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Toni Braxton on New Reality Show and Struggle With Lupus

Sorry that I have not been able to update the site regularly. My fiancee had a car accident so I’ve been playing nurse. I’m super excited that my first post is on the amazing Toni Braxton. Her new reality show ‘Braxton Family Values’ starring The Braxton sisters premiered on Tuesday night on the Women’s Entertainment Network (WE). The show centers around Grammy Award winning singer Toni Braxton, her mom, Evelyn, her four younger sisters, Traci, Towanda, Trina and Tamar, and their husbands.

Toni Braxton is opening up a part of her life to the world that she has usually kept more private. Though it is widely known that she is a divorced mom raising an autistic son, there have been past reports of numerous bankruptcies due to her previously failing health. Toni took some time out of her schedule to talk with BlackEnterprise.com about the truth behind those reports, why she decided now was the time to speak out, and her thoughts on her family being labeled “The Black Kardashians.”

On Why She Decided To Do Reality TV
It’s important because I never have. I was reluctant to have folks in my space because it’s invasive; but my sister Tamar said, ‘if you don’t tell your story, you are gonna be upset when someone else tells it and it’s wrong.’ She said, ‘your kids need to know the truth from you.’ So I’m using this as a format.

On Being Labeled “The Black Kardashians”
At first I was flattered because The Kardashians have a successful show (although The Osbornes were the real pioneers of family reality TV). But the only similarity between us and them is that we’re family and we’re women. The difference is that we’re preacher’s kids and a family of singers.

On Not Being Able to Talk About Her First Bankruptcy
No I couldn’t [talk about it] because I had a 10-year gag order. After TLC talked publicly about their bankruptcy [the label prohibited] other LaFace artists to talk, but now I can. I sold more than 40 million records, yet my royalties were less than $2000 dollars. People don’t understand that this issue went all the way to Congress about bankruptcy. All contracts are null and void except for a recording artist. Can you believe it? But the industry has changed now.

On Her Health Condition
A lot of people don’t understand what lupus is. I have discoid lupus, the kind that affects your organs. I tell people that if you miss that window for early diagnosis, it can be difficult to diagnose and result in heart disease or attack, which was my case when I developed pericarditis [inflammation of the fibrous sac around the heart]. My body was in a flare of the lupus, which caused my heart condition. I had just signed my contract when I was diagnosed and was forced to cancel my Vegas show because my doctor said it would take a good year before I was in any shape to get through an hour and a half performance. I was planning a tour and I had to get out of all of those contracts. Because I tied my money to brokering the [Vegas] deal, I was forced to file for a business bankruptcy to protect myself against people and vendors suing me. It was not because I was overspending or anything I did personally with my finances.

On If She’ll Have to Take Medication for the Rest of Her Life
Yes, chronic medication. When you see me looking chunky, it’s because of the steroid injections I receive which make me to appear bloated.

On Her Autistic Son, Diezel
Great. He’s talking–something I didn’t know he’d ever do. I’m just grateful and blessed because he’s wonderful. In the end, my family is everything to me.

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One response

  1. Gail

    My sister was recently diagnosed with Lupus and is fixing to start IV injections any suggestions on how I could help ease her fears?

    June 17, 2011 at 10:39 pm

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