How Accurate Is 'Toni Braxton: Unbreak My Heart'? The Lifetime Movie Had A Lot Of Input From The Singer Herself
If you're a '90s kid, Toni Braxton's hit songs "Unbreak My Heart," "You're Making Me High," and "He Wasn't Man Enough" probably bring back tons of childhood memories. But as you know, memories can play tricks on you — it even happened to the Queen of R&B herself as she was making the Lifetime TV movie about her life, which premieres on Saturday night. So that might cause you to wonder how accurate is Toni Braxton: Unbreak My Heart ? The R&B crooner is an executive producer on the TV movie and it's based on her 2014 memoir of the same name, but she admitted to the Baltimore Sun that even her memory was a little spotty at times.
But not to worry, longtime friend and producer Kenneth "Babyface" Edmunds was there to fill in those blanks — he's a producer on the TV movie biopic as well. "There's a moment in the movie when 'Another Sad Love Song' was not for me, and I thought it was for [1980s-1990s singer] Pebbles," Braxton told the Baltimore Sun. "He was like, 'No, it wasn't. I wrote it. I'm telling you, it was for TLC.' Little things like that."
Toni Braxton: Unbreak My Heart promises to cover a lot of the Severn, Maryland native's life, with Lexi Scott-Davis playing her on-screen. Here are the real aspects of Braxton's life you can expect to see portrayed in the movie.
Her Conservative Upbringing
Braxton grew up singing church songs with her four sisters in Maryland and was closed off from pop culture, according to the Baltimore Sun. ""It explains the struggle of me being a singer was tough against those odds," Braxton told the newspaper.
Her Struggle With Lupus
In 2010, Braxton revealed that she had lupus, an autoimmune disease in which the body attacks its own tissues — and it has not been easy. "I thought at that time, 'I'm going to die,' " Braxton told USA Today. "The doctors told me I couldn't perform anymore, and that got me to a morbid place. Just thinking of that, on the yucky feeling I would get in my stomach, took me back deeper than I would have liked to go."
Her Son's Autism
Braxton's son Diezel is now 12, but when he was younger, he was diagnosed with autism. "I remember the signs: like no eye contact, very little communication, just little things and I said 'hmm,'" she told Autism Speaks. She credited early diagnosis to helping him through it and is currently a spokesperson for the organization.
"He's been working so hard, and he's almost off the spectrum, pretty much," she told USA Today.
Despite the millions of dollars in records sold, Braxton has famously declared bankruptcy twice. She told ABC News in 2012 that her debt had a lot to do with how her recording contracts were structured, in addition to her own wild spending habits. There was a point when she contemplated posing nude in Playboy — but she didn't.
"The money was tempting, but I'm thinking, I have kids, I have a son, I have boys," she told ABC News. "What are their friends going to say? 'I saw Denim and Diesel's mom's knockers.' That's not a good thing."
Braxton was married to Keri Lewis of the group Mint Condition from 2001 until 2013. As for seeing someone currently, she told USA Today that her illness doesn't help when it comes to dating. "When I don't feel well, I don't like to talk about it," she said. "I'm not comfortable making the people I'm with uncomfortable. I have hang-ups about that."
And here Braxton is, still standing tall after all of that and even exec producing her own TV movie. "I'm a little nervous about the movie coming out. I can't deny it," she told the Baltimore Sun. "But most of all, I'm proud and excited for myself, because when you've been through all of that — I see the movie and say, 'That happened and you're still here?' — well, kudos."
Images: Bettina Strauss (4), Kailey Schwerman (2)/Lifetime