Toni Braxton Talks Personal Struggles, Memoir on ‘Tavis Smiley’ [VIDEO]
On the program, Braxton said that writing the book, which is out now, was a cathartic experience. She felt it was important that people understand some of her childhood history, which helped her become the woman she is today.
“I talked to my mom about it,” she told Smiley. “Because a lot of it is my parental situations for me. It’s not as much about my sisters and my siblings.”
“I’m being raised the way I was raised, a PK, a preacher’s kid, and the guilt you always feel associated with religion and trying to find your own way,” she continued. “It’s kind of challenging to find your own way because you’re bogged down with — it’s a sin to do that, so it’s hard to differentiate what’s real for you, your own reality.”
Braxton also talked about the financial problems that plagued most of her career. The Grammy Award-winning singer said that filing for bankruptcy twice was the most difficult times of her career.
“I was embarrassed and ashamed. I felt like I was a walking cliché,” she said of her money issues. “There she is, another artist has all this success and now she’s bankrupt. But what I explain in the book is the reason. I think when you read the book, you understand.”
Smiley also pointed out that the No. 1 reason why most people file for bankruptcy is due to health issues. He added that Braxton’s financial problems were no different than that of most Americans.
When asked how does she deal with people’s opinions of her, Braxton said she ignores them. However, the 46-year-old hopes the memoir will allow people to view her in a different light.
“Sometimes you do have to paint your own picture because people can paint it any way they want if there’s nothing out there about you,” Braxton explains. “There’s not really a lot about Toni Braxton. I don’t really drink, I don’t do drugs. I don’t have a scandalous life as such, so what do you say about me? All you have is money problems and bankruptcy. So I thought it was important that I put my own colors on the canvas.”