Page last updated at 07:37 GMT, Wednesday, 10 June 2009 08:37 UK

Braxton 'tribute act' acquitted

Tina Johnson-Finn
Ms Johnson-Finn was supported by an internet campaign

A singer who was passed off as pop star Toni Braxton at a concert in Suriname has been released from custody.

A judge in the South American country ruled that it was unclear whether Las Vegas entertainer Trina Johnson-Finn was aware of the scam.

The singer spent three months in jail awaiting trial after the February gig where she was booed off stage when fans realised they were not seeing Braxton.

Concert promoter Angel Ventura is still expected to be tried next month.


He initially claimed that the US entertainer had been aware of the plan, but later retracted the allegation.

Ms Johnson-Finn, 40, told reporters outside court in the country's capital Paramaribo that she was "delighted" with the decision.

"It was hard dealing with the situation knowing I was innocent. But now I just want to go back home and hug my family, my husband. I haven't seen them for so long," she added.

Toni Braxton
Toni Braxton is best known for her 1996 hit Un-Break My Heart

The singer, who often impersonates other artists, always maintained that she was unaware that adverts for the concert claimed Braxton would be appearing.

She had been told that she was performing a tribute act at a private party.

Her husband Raymond Finn said sorry to the people of Suriname who had been duped by the concert.

"We'd like to once again express our apologies to the people of Suriname who lost their earnings at the hands of those who deceived them as well as us," he said in a statement.

Surinamese concert-goers paid up to $53 (£32) for tickets to the concert, which they understood was headlined by Grammy-winner Braxton.

Ms Johnson-Finn's lawyer Katherine Brandon said the problem had in part been caused because Surinamese people are unfamiliar with celebrity impersonators.

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