*Days after OWN announced it was canceling the hit drama “Love Is_”, Salim Akil’s accuser and former mistress, Amber Dixon Brenner, is finally speaking out about her lawsuit that led to the network’s decision.
As we previously reported, Brenner filed a suit against the “Black Lightning” co-creator for breach of contract, accusing Akil of taking her 2015 script “Luv & Perversity in the East Village” (inspired by their relationship) and using part of that script for his OWN show Love Is without her consent, knowledge and compensation.
She also filed a separate lawsuit against Akil, accusing him of domestic violence and claiming she had a lengthy “physically and sexually abusive relationship” with Akil that occurred during his marriage to Mara Brock-Akil.
Brenner, a screenwriter and actress, recently told Deadline that Mara, co-creator of “Love Is_”, was fully aware of her 10-year affair with Salim. She admits that Mrs. Salim speaking out in support for the #MeToo movement ls what prompted her to go public.
“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.”
She also emailed the “Girlfriends” creator to talk about the issue as well.
“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? The letter I wrote was very thorough. I said I came to know it as reflective of the definition of abuse, sexual abuse, physical abuse, and the abuse of power also based upon their stature in the industry and otherwise.”
When asked about her thoughts on OWN canceling the show, Amber said: “did the right thing”.
“I did feel a sense of this is the right thing, this is correct response from the OWN network. This is a correct response to Salim and Mara and it felt like a bit of an acknowledgment of what I had gone through.”
She says the entire situation is “terrible.”
“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.”
When asked why she filed the lawsuit, Brenner says she had to in order to live her truth.
“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.”
Read Brenner’s interview with Deadline in its entirety here.