Singer: 'I just want to be heard' Anita Baker could face jail in royalty dispute with her ex Doug Guthrie and Susan Whitall / The Detroit News Detroit --Singer-songwriter Anita Baker faces the threat of jail in a contempt hearing today in Wayne Circuit Court after refusing to sign documents that could turn some of her music royalties over to her ex-husband. The emotionally drained eight-time Grammy Award winner never read the documents she objected to because she had been crying for two days, her lawyers explained. She was unable to "digest" the documents even when given a chance to read them in court Thursday. "I've been in the music business more than 20 years. We are talking about a multimillion-dollar business," said the 52-year-old Grosse Pointe mother of two teen sons. Wayne County Chief Family Court Judge Lita M. Popke had ordered Baker to explain why she hadn't followed orders to sign letters giving a court-appointed expert on music industry contracts authorization to seek information from record companies about payments for the music she has written and performed. By the end of a long hearing Thursday that included frequent interruptions from Baker fretting about going to jail and asking for a chance to testify under oath, the judge ordered her to return Friday morning and sign the letters or face jail. "Frankly, I haven't heard anything that amounts to an appropriate legal objection to signing these letters," the exasperated judge declared Thursday. "I'm very upset that we have been here all day saying she isn't going to sign something she hasn't read." Baker complained that "experts" have dominated court proceedings since her divorce from Walter Bridgforth Jr. in 2007, and she wanted to speak directly to the judge. Detroit entertainment attorney Howard Hertz, who represents Eminem , among other clients, was appointed by the judge as a music contract expert in an effort to settle the dispute. "I'm being muzzled," Baker complained. "My attorneys agree that I know more about music contracts than they do. But I'm not allowed to talk. I invented my music out of thin air, but they have to talk for me, 'This little woman can't talk.' If I'd invented Ford, they would talk to me. If the judge tells me at the end of the day that I have to sign, I'll comply. But I want her to hear my side. I'm not saying I'm right. I just want to be heard." The judge, who accused Baker of causing delays for more than a year, ordered Hertz and Bridgforth's lawyer, Hanely Gurwin, to bill her for the time they spent in court Thursday. Her divorce from Bridgforth called for an even split of royalties from two albums made during the couple's 20-year marriage; "Giving You the Best I Got" in 1988, and "Rhythm of Love" in 1994. "I want to confine the letter to those two albums that he is entitled to," Baker said. "This business is based on relationships. These companies will run from me like the plague if I sign that document." Much of the court file on Baker's divorce, including documents that detailed the financial settlement between the couple, was ordered sealed in 2007 by Judge Bill Callahan. Newer documents pertaining to the fight over royalties indicate Baker in 2009 was receiving $200,000 a year from one of the several record companies with which she has held contracts. Bridgforth has objected to accounting that claims, after expenses, that his half of the royalties from Atlantic and Rhino records amounted to $12,000 in 2009. Baker's profits also were greatly reduced by production costs. The court file doesn't indicate what Baker has been paid by other sources, including music publishers BMI and ASCAP, and digital sales, satellite and Internet play. Bridgforth didn't appear in court Thursday. Part of the argument also is over some royalty checks Baker apparently never cashed. Bridgforth's attorney Hanely Gurwin said, "It seems to me, that if she's entitled to the money, Mr. Bridgforth is entitled to half. If she's not entitled, she should send it back." "I did!" Baker exclaimed from her seat at the defense table between her lawyers, Christopher Drouillard and Steven Budaj. Popke said to admonish her lawyers, "Please control your client." Baker said she isn't standing in the way of Bridgforth receiving his share of the royalties. Although the judge allowed only lawyers to speak Thursday, she said Baker can talk Friday. Still, the singer appeared defeated. "I'm prayerful that the law will prevail tomorrow," she said.