Ne-Yo asks for privacy after ‘heartbroken’ wife Crystal Renay accuses him of cheating

A man in a fancy suit and black hat sings into a microphone in front of seated orchestra-style musicians
Ne-Yo performs at the February 2019 taping of “Motown 60: A Grammy Celebration” at Microsoft Theater.
(Robert Gauthier / Los Angeles Times)

Ne-Yo is asking people to respect his and his family’s privacy after his wife publicly accused him of cheating.

Ne-Yo’s wife, Crystal Renay Smith, shared an emotional statement Saturday evening, accusing her husband — whose given name is Shaffer Chimere Smith — of sleeping with other women throughout their eight years of marriage.

“8 years of lies and deception,” she wrote on Instagram. “8 years of unknowingly sharing my life and husband who sell their bodies to him unprotected. .. every last one of them! To say I’m heartbroken and disgusted is an understatement. To ask me to stay and accept it is absolutely insane.”

Crystal Renay went on to say she could no longer stay with Ne-Yo, writing that aside from their three children the “Miss Independent” singer had given her nothing but “wasted years and heartache.”

“I will no longer lie to the public or pretend that this is something it isn’t,” she continued. “I choose me, I choose my happiness and health and respect. I gained 3 beautiful children out of this but nothing else but wasted years and heartache. I ask that you all please stop sending me videos or information of him cheating because what he does is no longer my concern.”


Ne-Yo tweeted a statement Sunday that indirectly addressed her accusations, saying the couple would work through their “challenges” out of the public eye.

“For the sake of our children, my family and I will work through our challenges behind closed doors,” Ne-Yo wrote. “Personal matters are not meant to be addressed and dissected in public forums. I simply ask that you please respect me and my family’s privacy at this time.”

After getting married in 2016, the couple renewed their vows in April in Las Vegas. Soon after, he sat with the “People Everyday” podcast and discussed how he and his wife’s “darker point” had inspired songs on his recently released album “Self Explanatory.”

Ne-Yo is one of the top R&B stars who feature dance prominently in their music -- he’s even starred in projects like “Stomp the Yard” that keep hip hop dance at its core -- so it’s fitting that the multi-platinum recording artist is the first performer on the first episode of MTV’s re-started “America’s Best Dance Crew: Road to the VMAs.”

July 29, 2015

“I can honestly say we’re better now than we were before it happened,” Ne-Yo said. “We’ve learned to genuinely listen to each other, we’ve learned to slow down in a moment and really figure out whether or not the emotion that we’re trying to jump to is the emotion that should be placed in that situation.

“These are things that require effort every single day,” he added. “It’s not easy.”