R+B star Brandy has spoken out to insist she did marry producer ROBERT SMITH - but their union was "non-traditional".

Last month (JUL04), Smith - cousin of producer RODNEY JERKINS - claimed in radio interviews that he and the FULL MOON singer were never legally married, and that the whole story was concocted to retain then-pregnant star's wholesome image.

And while Brandy immediately hit back with a statement declaring that her and Smith's union was "spiritual", she has now decided to speak with cable network MTV to clear up the rumours.

Brandy, currently engaged to basketball star QUENTIN RICHARDSON, says, "We had a non-traditional marriage. I didn't go to city hall, I didn't have a minister, but we both knew what we wanted and we both knew what we had and I guess just from hearing the things he's been saying, he doesn't even feel the same way I felt.

"He was one of my good friends; he had moved on and I had moved on. That's why all of this is crazy to me. We have a daughter as well, so I just can't believe that he would go this route and do this. If he's upset with me or whatever it is we could work it out in private. We don't have to do it in a public way."

In early 2002, Brandy announced she was pregnant and that she and Smith were wed in the summer of 2001. Smith had been involved with another woman but claimed to have broken off relations with her to be with Brandy. Brandy and Smith are currently in the midst of a custody battle over their two-year-old daughter SY'RAI.

Brandy adds, "Right now, it's really about my fans knowing that whatever I believed spiritually at the time is what I believed. I just wouldn't deliberately lie to them just to save my image."

04/08/2004 02:31