Miko Branch Spars With Sister's Boyfriend In Court Over Suicide, Money

News & Views | Gerren Keith Gaynor | 04/20/2015 | 04:00 PM EDT

Miss Jessie's co-founder Titi Branch's shocking death spills over in legal battle

More details have emerged in the death of Miss Jessie’s co-founder Titi Branch, with court documents revealing her sister and business partner is in a contested legal battle against her boyfriend.


In Manhattan Supreme Court papers, Miko Branch accuses her sister’s significant other of driving her to depression and eventually suicide. Two weeks before Christmas, Titi hung herself inside her Manhattan apartment.


Miko believes her older sister was under the spell of boyfriend, Anthony Spadafora, who she says isolated Titi from the rest of the family, manipulated her and treated her like a “human ATM,” reports the New York Post.


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Titi even changed the beneficiary of her $2 million in life insurance policies from her sister to Spadafora because of his “undue influence.”


“My sister’s death has been a devastating blow,” Miko told The Post. “It was only after Titi’s death that we learned more about what she’d been going through and how her affairs were being managed.”


The Post reports:


Spadafora “wielded exceptional control over [her] while fully aware that her mental health was severely compromised,” see added, pointing to “disabling” depression.


In just two years Spadafora, 43, managed to “extract” hundreds of thousands of dollars from Titi to launch his own beard-care business, Maestro’s Classics; $420,000 to buy and renovate a Pennsylvania house; and a $135,000 interest-free loan.


“In exchange, [she] received nothing,” Miko charged.


Titi was ready to kick Spadafora to the curb last year when she found out he sexually propositioned her trainer, but he knew how to keep her in line, Miko alleges in court papers.

Spadafora “took extreme measures to stop her . . . sending compromising photographs that he had taken of her,” the sister claims.


Within days of her death, he peppered her grieving parents with emails claiming he had a new will drafted by Titi giving him 50 percent of everything, according to the suit.

He also took his girlfriend’s computer and refused to return it to her family members unless they forked over Titi’s expensive Cartier bracelet, according to court papers.


When they did, the computer he returned had its drive scrubbed clean, the Branch family claims.

But Spadafora says Titi’s charges are “ridiculous.” He claims Titi’s falling out with Miko in September 2013 prompted her to change the beneficiary on her life insurance policy, and drove Titi out of the company she and Miko started together in 2004.


“She was changing ­everything,” he said.


The sisters “loved each other” but had different management styles, and as tensions grew, Titi couldn’t take the stress, he claims, calling Miko “the bully of Brooklyn.”


“They’re trying to paint me as a villain,” he said.


He and Titi met on Match.com in 2012, and the relationship quickly became serious, he says.


The couple traveled to Italy and France, shared homes in New York and Pennsylvania. They also wanted to have children, but multiple rounds of in-vitro fertilization failed. The inability to have children left Titi “drained,” Spadafora told The Post.


In December, Spadafora got a call at from a friend concerned about Titi’s absence. Spadafora rushed to her Manhattan apartment from Pennsylvania, but police were already there.


“My love failed. I thought it was good enough if there wasn’t a baby,” he said, weeping.


Spadafora says he wants to make peace with the family. “I don’t want to see this turn into a war,” he said.


(Photo: Joe Corrigan/Getty Images)

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