Toni Braxton is brutally honest about her darkest moments in new memoir Unbreak My Heart.
The singer, 46, writes about her 11-year-old son, Diezel Ky Braxton-Lewis, who is autistic. The Grammy winner reveals she once believed that Diezel's autism was a punishment from God -- a retaliation of sorts for Braxton's decision to have an abortion in 2001. (Thirteen years ago, Braxton terminated a pregnancy after conceiving a child with ex Keri Lewis.)
Because of her deeply religious upbringing, Braxton suffered great guilt over the going through with the procedure.
"I was suddenly faced with a choice I'd never thought I'd have to make," the songstress writes, "Amid my major misgivings about abortion, I eventually made the gut-wrenching decision."
Braxton continued: "In my heart, I believed I had taken a life -- an action that I thought God might one day punish me for … My initial rage was quickly followed by another strong emotion: guilt. I knew I'd taken a life … I believed God's payback was to give my son autism."
The Braxton Family Values star has since had a change of heart about that painful memory.
Braxton explains to Us Weekly: “Coming from a very religious background, I was ashamed that I had an abortion in 2001. When my youngest son was diagnosed with Autism I feared that I was being punished for my earlier actions. I have since realized that my son is special and learns in a different way.”