Salim Akil has issued a response to the claims that he abused an actress and infringed on the copyright of her script.
The creator of OWN’s “Love Is” with his fellow producer wife Mara Brock Akil,” and showrunner and executive producer for The CW’s “Black Lightning,” released a statement Sunday, Dec. 2, through his attorney, denying the claims levied by Amber Dixon Brenner.
“These allegations are deeply upsetting — but they are also totally untrue,” read the remarks from Akil’s lawyer, Stephen D. Barnes, which were sent to Deadline. “We will defend Salim to the fullest against the false and offensive claims that a woman with whom he had a past relationship has included in multiple unsubstantiated lawsuits. Salim looks forward to clearing his name and to being able to focus on his work and his family.”
On Nov. 20, Brenner filed a lawsuit with the Los Angeles Superior Court accusing Akil of recurring “non-consensual assault and battery.” Alleging he physically, verbally and sexually abused her, Brenner claims she’s been slapped and forced to perform sexual acts on Akil. She said she had a romantic relationship with him during that time and it ended last year.
The complaint also levied allegations that he appropriated a screenplay for “Luv & Perversity in the East Village,” which is reportedly based on their decade-long “physically and sexually abusive relationship.” According to Variety, Salim Akil used the work for an ABC title called “Documenting Love” and “Love Is.” As such, Brenner is suing OWN and the Akils for copyright infringement.
Brenner said in her suit that she “believed that she loved Akil. She also looked up to him as a prominent motion picture television director in some of the same entertainment circles where [she] socialized. Akil likewise would at times dangle potential acting roles and professional collaborations before [her].”
While OWN has not confirmed whether or not it’s leading an investigation, Warner Bros. TV, which is responsible for “Black Lightning,” confirmed to Variety that a probe is open.