Saturday, July 26, 2014
Inquirer Daily News

Braxton Settles Suit Against Ex-Manager

NEW YORK - Toni Braxton has settled her multimillion-dollar lawsuit against her former personal manager, representatives of both parties said.

Under the settlement, the 39-year-old R&B singer is free to pursue new projects following her return of a $375,000 advance to manager Barry Hankerson, Braxton representative Michael Sitrick said Tuesday.

Hankerson had previously demanded an additional $1 million to provide the singer with only a partial release from her contract, Sitrick said.

A Hankerson attorney, Samuel Chilakos, disputed that description of the settlement, saying he was unaware of a demand for additional funds and that the agreement limits the companies with which Braxton can work.

Braxton would be responsible for paying royalties from her next album to Hankerson, both parties said.

Braxton's lawsuit claimed that Hankerson owed her at least $10 million for dirty dealing that caused her to abandon a long relationship with Arista Records, a Sony BMG Music Entertainment label, for Blackground Records, the manager's record label.

The lawsuit accused the manager of putting his financial interests ahead of Braxton's and inducing the singer to leave a lucrative deal with Arista through fraud, deception and double-dealing.

Hankerson on Tuesday disputed those allegations.

"She was dropped from Arista because of record sales," he said, adding that Braxton did not want to move to Blackground Records but "there was nowhere else for her to go."

He said his relationship with the singer soured because of her insistence that she involve her husband in her albums.

Braxton's 1993 debut album, "Toni Braxton," rose to No. 1 on the Billboard 200 and sold more than 10 million copies worldwide. Braxton received the Grammy Award for best new artist in 1993, and she won Grammys that year and the next for best female R&B vocal performance.

SAMANTHA GROSS The Associated Press
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