Singer-songwriter Anita Baker, 56, was just as shocked as the rest of the world when news of her arrest warrant first became public knowledge. Baker first heard of the warrant while watching TV, and took to the social networking site, Twitter, to share how bizarre and crazy she thought the entire situation was.
Baker is perhaps best known for her Grammy-winning single, “Sweet Love,” from her platinum-selling second album Rapture. Beginning her career in the 1970s, Baker has garnered much critical acclaim. She has claimed eight Grammy Awards along with five platinum albums and has one gold album under her belt.
How does a Grammy Award-winning singer become a target for the law? All of this began when lawyer Daniel Gerow for Ray A. Smith Painting & Decorating filed a lawsuit against Baker. Gerow claimed that Baker had used the services of Ray A. Smith for renovating her Detroit-area home, but did not pay for the services and hence owed $15,000. The claim ultimately caused a Michigan judge to issue a warrant of arrest earlier this week.
Defaulting from payment is not the legal reason the warrant for her arrest was issued. Baker was supposed to appear in court to settle the case but she failed to do so. Failure to appear in court is what ultimately caused the warrant to be issued.
Baker’s attorney however was quick to act against the warrant and has even filed for a motion against it. Attorney Jamal Hamood said that Baker was not provided with the proper documents or papers and so cannot be arrested. Hamood also added that Baker was not notified of the lawsuit beforehand, which would make her arrest unjust and unfair. Baker’s attorney might have been quick to act but Baker herself was simply at a loss of words and shocked at the news of her own arrest, which was apparent from her tweet.
With respect to the current whereabouts of the singer, Hamood mentioned that Baker was out of town and not present at the moment. Hamood also said that Baker would continue to stay away as long as the matter is not resolved. It would seem that the matter might very well be over sooner rather than later. Not because all the odds are stacked against Baker, but quite the opposite. Gerow however stated that he does not want Baker to go to jail.
Gerow said that his intention is just to collect the money that Baker owes. They would prefer to resolve the matter as soon as possible and not drag it out any further. They do not intend to, as Gerow claims, give Baker any hard time or unnecessary pressure. The matter could very well end if Baker simply pays the payment on which she defaulted.
This is not the first time Baker has had a run-in with the law. Back in 2010, a judge threatened to lock Baker up for failing to sign a few documents during her divorce. She escaped the punishment by agreeing to a settlement.
The only response from Baker so far has been the tweet she posted on her Twitter account. No other official statement by Baker or her representatives has been made and so it is not clear what their next course of action is going to be. What is clear is that fans of Baker around the world are curious to see what she does next.
By Hammad Ali