Since the turn of the year 2016, the Nigerian Entertainment scene and the media space have witnessed accusations, beefs, reunion, public bashing, counter claims and more from top players in the industry.
The year also marked the sixth year that the once celebrated union between pop act, 9ice and his ex-wife, Toni payne hit the rocks.
In the last few years, 9ice, Toni Payne and popular rapper, Ruggedman have been embroiled in cheating claims which led to the crash of 9ice and Toni Payne’s marriage. However, the principal actors – 9ice, Ruggedman and Toni Payne – in the age long drama has since cleared the air on the true state of events which first surfaced following 9ice’s release of his smash hit single, ‘Once Bitten Twice Shy’.
In a thrilling twist, Toni Payne who earlier claimed to have forgiven 9ice and vowed not to comment on the matter ever again opened up like never before in a tell all phone-in interview with Gloria Maduka and Terrel of Inspiration FM, Lagos. The lifestyle writer openly called out popular publisher of ThenetNg and PR Guru, Ayeni Adekunle alleging that he was the reason behind her separation with 9ice.
According to Toni Payne, Ayeni Adekunle, who was 9ice’s publicist at the time released the press material that spread the reports of her splitting up with 9ice. “It started out really annoying, then it went from annoying to frustrating, because if you listen to the song carefully you can tell that it’s not me he described in the song. It felt like a horrible dream and it kept growing and people were actually taking it seriously”.
“When it all started I felt the rumour could have been killed faster with social media because that’s how it was spreading, and at that point I approached 9ice’s then publicist, his name is Ayeni. I don’t want to call anybody my enemy, but I consider him an enemy because I see him as someone who started something and didn’t finish it,” she said.
“Back then when they put out their little press release talking about me and 9ice splitting up, I warned them not to put it out that if there’s anything happening internally, let’s solve it internally, putting it out there gives the public the right to put their mouths in it, but Ayeni convinced 9ice that he had to put it out, all because he wanted to sell THENETNG that was when he started the website started. But they went ahead and put out the release behind my back anyway. So I was sitting down at this restaurant with my friend and we started getting messages about me doing this and that, so I called Ayeni and was like you guys started this rumours please fix it, and he was like madam we’ll do it and he never did,” Toni Payne added.
“I expected him to use the same enthusiasm they used in releasing the first news to also use in killing it, but they never did, instead he continued to use it to promote THENETNG, but today where’s the paper, they ended up packing up and I’ve said it that every single person that felt they were profiting from the rumours back then, God will catch them one by one, and that’s what’s been happening,” she concluded.
You will recall that 9ice released an official statement addressing the issue after Toni Payne shared a post via her website saying she has forgiven the ‘Gongo Aso’ crooner.