January 24, 2019
Photo by Paras Griffin/Getty Images for SCAD aTVfest 2018
The end of 2018 was pretty rough for Salim Akil. The director was accused of alleged domestic violence by an ex-lover, and was sued by her for stealing her work for the concept of the now-canceled show, Love Is. But this year, he’s coming to get back what’s his, including what he deems as the totally false accusations put out against him.
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LOVE IS___ I am saddened that this great group of #artists and #storytellers will no longer get to create together on this project in this way. This was a special tribe— assembling teams like this is by the grace of God— and I will miss not being on set with them to make more magic. And though I know we will all go on to create more amazing work, I’m grateful there was a moment in time that we came together and had the courage to give our best to try and tell a story about love with love. #InTheLandOf #LoveIs
In new court documents, Akil has filed paperwork that would require Amber Dixon Brenner’s allegations to be thrown out. The Being Mary Jane executive producer is also demanding his legal fees be paid in full by the actress. He claims the timeframe for taking any legal action based on the reports has passed, and that she is allegedly blocked from bringing accusations against him due to her own “negligent, intentional or bad faith conduct.”
Also, according to the six-page long paperwork, the Black Lightning showrunner is denying everything and implying that Brenner hasn’t lost anything at all based on her lawsuit: “Defendant denies, generally and specifically, each and every allegation contained in Plaintiff’s Complaint, denies that Plaintiff has sustained any injury or loss by reason of any act or omission on the part of Defendant, and denies that Plaintiff is entitled to any relief or damages whatsoever.”
In November, Amber admitted to pitching a screenplay called “Luv & Perversity in the East Village” to the producer in 2016, which she reports is the basis of the now-defunct series. Not only did Salim and his wife Mara Brock Akil take a hit to their empire when OWN axed their show, but the actress’ claims about her experience with the 54-year-old really took a hit to him, professionally. It even sparked an investigation of the cast and crew of Black Lightning to ensure no inappropriate events were happening without consent. In addition to suing him for allegedly snatching her work, in her lawsuit, the mother of two, cited multiple instances of physical violence from him in the form of slapping, strangling, and forced oral sex.
And to top it all off, last month, the “Savages” star applauded OWN executives for pulling Love Is off the air, agreeing that it was the right decision, and she did the correct thing by coming forward: “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.” She also opened up about trying to speak to the scriptwriter about their relationship before going public, and that Mara knew everything. But now, it’s all up to the court to decide what happens next.
TELL US: Do you think the judge will dismiss his case?