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Yikes: Salt-N-Pepa Silent as DJ Spinderella Files Lawsuit Alleging Breach of Contract

Months after taking aim at Salt-N-Pepa over being excluded from a summer tour, DJ Spinderella has filed a lawsuit against her band mates of more than three decades.

The documents allege Cheryl “Salt” James and Sandra “Pepa” Denton cheated Spin, whose real name is Deidra Roper, out of hundreds of thousands in royalties and compensation for an award show performance, TMZ reported Thursday.

(From left) Cheryl “Salt” James, Sandra “Pepa” Denton of Salt-N-Pepa and DJ Spinderella attend the grand opening of “Salt-N-Pepa’s I Love The ’90s — The Vegas Show” residency at The Paris Theater at Paris in Las Vegas on October 25, 2018, in Las Vegas. (Photo: Mindy Small/FilmMagic)

Spin claims that she began getting scammed out of the money she’s owed in 1999 when the rap trio’s greatest hits compilation, “The Best of Salt-N-Pepa,” was released. The DJ claims she was promised 33 percent of the album’s royalties and got a call informing her that she’d receive a check for $125,000. The money, however, never came through, she says.

In addition to allegedly not being paid for Salt-N-Pepa’s 2018 Billboard Music Awards performance, Spin also says she was told by royalty collection and distribution organization SoundExchange that she’s owed $600,000 in royalties from the last decade. However, the performer is said to not have received those funds.

The filing further states that Spin failed to be compensated for her appearance on a VH1 series documenting the group’s ascent to stardom.

“By the early 2000s, the Defendants discussed with Roper an SNP reunion which would have possibly involved, among other things, a television show based on the legendary female group’s rise to stardom,” the documents state according to The Blast.

The group struck a deal for a show called “The Salt N Pepa Show'” that the filing says “was aired with numerous episodes featuring only Defendants James and Denton. Plaintiff Roper was invited to appear—only as a guest—on several episodes of the Salt N Pepa television show for minimal compensation.”

Spinderella’s suit says she continued to work with the group for years and when she asked about compensation, she was told she was always getting paid the full amount. She also agreed to do a Las Vegas residency beginning in the fall of 2018 and running through spring 2019. The alleged deal was that she’d be paid per performance, but she claims she wasn’t ever paid on time or regularly.

By January after refusing to take low pay, the DJ says she was served with termination documents from Salt-N-Pepa’s attorneys. Recently, Spin claims Salt and Pep have begun talks with Lifetime about doing a miniseries on the group and she’s been kept in the dark. The DJ alleges the rappers’ actions have prohibited her from doing a residency in Vegas.

Spin is seeking unspecified damages for her work and royalties as well as breach of contract. She also requests an injunction to prevent Salt and Pepa from using her name or likeness, which she says they’ve been using to promote their appearances.

The filing comes after Spin wrote on Instagram in May that she got a “termination email” excluding her from performances with Salt-N-Pepa. As such, she would not be touring with the group and other ’80s acts on “The Mixtape Tour” this summer.

“It was my expectation, after making that decision, that they would also take responsibility for sharing the news with the public and other affected parties. It has been months now with no mention,” she said.

“Out of love for my fans and a commitment to upholding a standard of professionalism, I’ve taken it upon myself to let everyone know,” Spin continued. “I refuse to participate in misleading fans, ticketholders, and others who — based on all the advertising — were anticipating seeing the iconic #SaltnPepa and #Spinderella trio. So, I’m making it clear now.”

Neither Salt nor Pepa has publicly responded to Spin’s filing.

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