Last night, hard-up R&B diva Brandy Norwood was profiled on VH1's Behind the Music. The episode spent a lot of time discussing the 2007 car crash that she maybe caused on a Los Angeles freeway. (It resulted in the death of a mother of two.) Calling it a "blur," Brandy didn't recount the incident (instead, police reports stating that she slammed into a car while driving 65 mph were cited). She spoke vaguely: "I was driving home and it happened." Also: "Regardless if it was my fault or it was not my fault, I was involved in something that cost someone their life. Whoever fault it was, I was in it." More curiously: "A murderer is someone who premeditates it. I didn't wake up that day to be involved in a fatal car crash. I didn't plan for that." Uh, OK? So...what now?
Her case was ultimately dismissed because of insufficient evidence, which is the least satisfying narrative that something like this could have. Really, Brandy's current handling of it comes off as more Norwood slipperiness — the hour-long show served to collect a stream of lies Brandy has told the public over the years, starting when she publicly denied her romantic relationship with Boyz II Men's Wanya Morris around the start of her career. And then there was the time that she got pregnant with producer Robert Smith (disappointingly, not the Cure dude) but told the world that she had secretly married him. She did this to maintain her squeaky clean image in preparation for her imminent baby bump. And then when he came clean and said there was no marriage, she lied about lying ("I just wouldn't deliberately lie to them just to save my image.") She also talked about being a sexy fraud in the "Afrodisiac" video, saying of her water-frolicking with dudes, "I didn't believe it. So why should anybody else?"
When you're in the business of smoke and mirrors, sometimes your entire life becomes an illusion — that doesn't stop when the Behind the Music cameras start rolling. Brandy was still forming as a human when she started living publicly, and I pity someone who's made to live so falsely by a team with only its best interest as a machine in mind. But also, when someone who lied and then double-lied to the public claims that mess resulted in "the fall of my career," I can't help but feel like justice has been served...at least in one case.