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OTRC: Toni Braxton's autistic son to appear with her in a new Lifetime movie

Toni Braxton's 9-year-old autistic son Diezel is about to make his acting debut in the singer's new Lifetime movie "Twist of Faith."

Diezel was set to play Braxton's son in the film, which premieres on February 9, but the singer told The Associated Press she did not want to pressure her son.

"He was supposed to play my son initially but by the time we worked out the shooting schedule, school had started," Braxton said. "Even though he's considered high functioning right now, he wasn't in the past, and that's why I thought him carrying the movie and trying to do the movie and tutoring would have been too much for him."

The 45-year-old singer, who also has an 11-year-old son named Denim, let Diezel take a smaller role in the film.

"He was a little disappointed at first, but I think in the end, he's happy about the turnout," she told the wire service.

Braxton is the lead in the film, which she admitted made her a little nervous. In "Twist of Faith," Braxton plays a single Christian mother who is drawn to an Orthodox Jewish widower (played by "Weeds" actor David Julian Hirsh) because they both share a passion for music and singing.

She has had a few roles over the years including a recurring role on the TV series "Kevin Hill" in 2005 and has appeared in films like " The Oogieloves in the Big Balloon Adventure" and "Kingdom Come." She competed on the seventh season of "Dancing With The Stars" with Alec Mazo as her professional partner and finished in eighth place.

Braxton and her family also appear on WE reality TV series, "Braxton Family Values," which has its season premiere March 14.

"I never had to carry anything before. It's a lot of work," she said. She later added, "Singing is indigenous for me, but acting is not. I've had to work to prepare for it."

The singer also spoke about her recent health woes, which included being hospitalized in December for blood clots. Braxton revealed two years ago that she had been diagnosed with Lupus. Lupus causes the immune systems to attack the body's tissues and organs and can lead to rashes, arthritis or even kidney or heart damage.

The disease killed Braxton's uncle and her brother also suffers from it. The entertainer also suffers from a narrowing of the blood vessels in her heart. Braxton revealed in a recent "20/20" interview that she was told by doctors that her Lupus diagnosis meant that her performing career would likely be diminished.

"My doctors told me I would never be able to perform again," she told The Associated Press recently. "I'm very lucky that I'm still able to dabble in it a little bit."

Braxton is known for hit songs like "Un-break My Heart," "You're Makin Me High" and "He Wasn't Man Enough." She told the wire service she is working on a new album with Babyface called "Love, Marriage, Divorce."

"Twist of Faith" premieres on Saturday, February 9, at 8 p.m. EST on Lifetime.


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