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Earlier this week it was announced Mara Brock Akil and Salim Akil‘s show, Love Is_ was canceled by OWN due to Salim’s sexual abuse allegations. Last month, actress Amber Dixon Brenner sued the director citing domestic violence, which she experienced during their 10-year long relationship and breach of contract, for supposedly stealing her screenplay for the series.
Now, in an exclusive interview with Deadline, Brenner is shedding some light on how she feels about the whole situation: “I got to a point where I could no longer live with myself and be the mother I wanted to be, be the Amber I always dreamed of being if I tolerated the history of the abuse. I could not walk with my head up.”
The actress states she gave the Black Lightning showrunner chance after chance to do the right thing and admit he sexually violated her and stole her content. All she really wanted was an apology and for him to acknowledge his abusive behavior.
The reason the “Wall Street: Money Never Sleeps” actress wanted to publicly come forward had everything to do with Mara: “It started when Mara was on the cover of some magazine and she stood along with other women in the industry talking about #MeToo or Time’s Up. I read it and I was appalled and I felt disregarded and that the issues from the relationship that in the past I had tried to resolve or discuss regarding violence she was very silent about. Like not responding to texts earlier on in the relationship.”
So yes, according to Brenner, Mara knew about the affair.
In the interview, Amber mentioned that she reached out to Mara first, to talk about her magazine cover. After that, Salim supposedly blocked her number. But she didn’t stop there: “I wrote her an email saying how is it that you come forward now when in your private life you knew that your husband had a habit of hitting me?”
And as for Love Is_ being canceled, she says it’s the correct response because she did “the right thing.”
“Look, it’s a sad situation. It’s a terrible situation that I was ever in the predicament of having to call him out and her out. It’s tragic to me that these things ever happened. It’s tragic to me that my work was stolen and then misappropriated to their supposed love story. Honestly, the first time I saw the show, and we can go back on the record, my first reaction was I want my work off the television now. I want this off.”
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