Anita Baker was nearly sent to jail for trying to protect her interests during divorce settlements

Anita Baker divorced Walter Bridgeforth after nearly 20 years together. But the divorce doesn’t seem to have been amicable as the couple was still fighting over money three years later.

Divorce finalized in 2007

Anita Baker is a beloved icon, who had the threat of jail hanging over her on more than one occasion. It seems, however, that both times the warrants were rather erroneously issued.

Anita holding hands with husband Walter

Anita holding hands with husband Walter

We don’t know many details of Anita Baker’s marriage. She married Walter Bridgeforth Jr. in 1988 and had two sons with him in the 90s. The marriage broke apart by 2005, however, when the two separated.

Nearly two years later their divorce was finalized. No one has ever breathed a word over the reasons or the divorce settlement however. The latter was sealed by the presiding judge, which meant that nobody would be able to get to the details and neither Anita nor Walter would be talking about them.

Needless to say that a lot of money would have been at stake and it’s also clear that Anita would have been the one to pay up.

Three years later, in 2010, Walter and Anita were fighting once more in court over outstanding royalty payments from two albums, which Walter was apparently entitled to. Anita was required to sign some documents and an investigation took place what Walter was exactly owed, but Anita refused to sign the documents.

The situation became so bad that the judge threatened to jail Anita for contempt of court, because she was needlessly prolonging the affair. Anita on the other hand wanted to be heard on the matter. She was represented by a lawyer and everyone even remotely involved always talked over her and about the issue at hand, but she wanted to explain the situation as well, which she was initially not allowed to do. The judge even reprimanded her for interrupting in court.

Ultimately Anita got what she wanted, though, and was able to explain the situation. The documents she was required to sign had far reaching consequences and if she would sign them without reading them, people in the industry would essentially cast her out. She needed to protect her rights and her interests and the wording of the documents needed to be changed.

Once Anita had made her situation clear to the judge, it was agreed that she would cooperate in changing the documents as required and then sign them. The judge also assured her that Anita was no longer under threat of contempt or jail and that she should not feel coerced in any way.

Finally a resolution was brought in front of the judge, Anita signed the documents and everyone was free to go home. The agreement was sealed as well and we don’t know what precisely was at issue or how much Walter might have received additionally.

After that debacle Anita moved on from her divorce and it seems the ex-couple no longer had much to do with one another. There were no further court appointments made in any case.

It is not known that Anita has been seeing anyone seriously for the last few years. She seems to be concentrating on her career and has also been there for her two sons, who are no longer teenagers.


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