…says my hands are clean
By Lolade Sowoolu
Its been about four months since ethnic singer 9ice dropped his third album â€˜Traditionâ€™; just a month before he separated from wife, Toni Payne for unresolved disputes. A recent publication on the cause of the break-up is stirring exchange of e-mails and phone calls in the media and music circuit.
Rapper Ruggedman has been named culprit and neither Toni nor Michael (Ruggedmanâ€™s real name) is taking this any kindly. In a swift reaction, Ruggedman released a statement to the media absolving himself of any complicity in the separation while also condemning publications that have gone to town with the story.
â€œ I have been hearing rumours that the reason 9iceâ€™s marriage broke up was because his wife and I were or are having a secret affair. I laughed when I first heard itâ€, he wrote. â€œI could not reach 9ice but got the wife and we laughed over itâ€.
The story making the rounds is that one of the tracks in 9iceâ€™s Tradition is dedicated to telling the singerâ€™s betrayal story by very close friend, Ruggedman. The track is titled â€œOnce Bitten, Twice Shyâ€. The track is allegedly interpreted to imply that 9ice once walked in on his wife giving best friend Ruggedman a blow job.
â€œIt is a shame that some soft sell magazines do not respect their code of journalism to confirm what they hear instead of printing unconfirmed rumours that could be the idea of ill meaning people and thereby further spreading false rumoursâ€, he lambasted.
â€œI want to tell my loyal fans, fans of 9ice, friends and customers of Tony Payne that I was never and Iâ€™m not having any secret affair with 9iceâ€™s wife. What ever led to their break up is only known to the couple so until they say something please do not assume for them or spread evil rumours that could affect any of the parties negativelyâ€.
Although 9ice and Toni have kept quiet about their broken relationship, 9ice gets to see son Zion- the only fruit of the 20-month broken marriage, from time to time. Toni whoâ€™s thrown herself into running her talent management company, Tony Payne Concepts, is reportedly in the process of suing the soft sell magazine that blamed her broken marriage to an extra-marital affair with Ruggedman.
Presently working on his final album and hosting StarQuest 2010, Ruggedman claims to have introduced the separated lovers in 2006 at Gbenga Adeyinkaâ€™s 10th anniversary in Motherland,Â Opebi, Lagos, where the couple hit it off.
Now in his thirties, the rapper was until last year an item with model and Tv host, Isio Wanogho in a very publicised romance which later hit the rocks.