Toni Payne, the estranged wife of popular singer, Abolore Akande, also known as 9ice, has accused a former Punch and ThisDay journalist and owner of thenet.ng, Adekunle Ayeni of damaging her marriage. Payne, who revealed all on a phone-in interview with Inspiration FM‘s Gloria Maduka, said Ayeni was the source of the media influence that eventually crashed her home. She said Ayeni, who runs popular Public Relations agency, BlackHouse Media, had urged Akande to release a press statement on the issue. Payne alleged that Ayeni wanted to use it to grow his news website at the time. She said she had asked her ex-husband to give a private discussion on her rumoured affair with rapper, Ruggedman, a chance but Ayeni had influenced him to go public. She claimed that had the issue been discussed internally, the matter would not have aggravated into a divorce.
“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 the social media because that’s how it was spreading.
“At that point, I approached 9ice’s publicist then, 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.
“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. I told them that if there’s anything happening internally, we should resolve it internally, that putting it out there gives the public the right to interfere.
“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. But they went ahead and put out the release behind my back.
“I was sitting down at this restaurant with my friend when we started getting messages about me doing this and that. 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.
“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 packing up and I’ve said it, that every single person that felt they were profiting from the rumours back then, will be caught by God, one by one, and that’s what has happened and is happening,” she said.
Payne went further to react to an apology 9ice tendered in an open letter saying she had forgiven 9ice but was going back to him was impossible.