07/22/2004 at 09:00 AM EDT
Last year's "divorce" of R&B singer and actress Brandy from music producer Robert Smith wasn't a divorce at all, Smith claimed this week – because he says they were never married.
During an interview on New York radio stations WBLS-FM and WQHT-FM's "Moment of Truth" with Wendy Williams, Smith declared that he and Brandy never legally wed, reports MTV News. He said they simply pretended to be married so that her wholesome image could be protected after she became pregnant with their now 2-year-old daughter, Sy'rai.
Smith, 24, told Williams it was Sonja Norwood, Brandy's mother and manager, who hatched the idea of a fake marriage, claiming that the public would not accept Brandy as an unwed mother.
Brandy, now 25 and currently promoting her fourth album (Afrodisiac), said in a statement issued by her publicist that she was "hurt and shocked" by Smith's revelations.
Still, she says that she and Smith, instead of a legally recognized marriage, had a "spiritual union and a true commitment to each other."
Her statement also says: "We still share a common bond through our daughter, Sy'rai, (though) he is not thinking about her, me, or what we had together."