Production on the VH1 reality show “T.I. & Tiny: Friends & Family Hustle” has halted amid severe sexual exploitation allegations against its lead stars, rapper T.I. and his wife, Tameka “Tiny” Harris.
A spokesperson for MTV Entertainment issued a statement on Friday, Feb. 5: “We are aware of the allegations, and while they are not connected to our show, we have reached out to T.I. and Tameka Harris, as well as local and state officials. Given the serious nature of the allegations, we have decided to suspend production in order to gather more information.”
An unidentified source told Deadline that the decision to pause production was mutually made by MTV, T.I., and Tiny, along with an announcement for a spring season 4 premiere. The show was currently shooting its fourth season in Atlanta.
As previously reported, the famous couple was hit with a slew of allegations by The Glam University women’s empowerment group founder Sabrina Peterson in late January, and several more women have followed suit since then. Accusations include drugging, sexually exploiting women, and even holding Peterson at gunpoint.
T.I. and Tiny denied those claims in a statement released by their representative. “Mr. and Mrs. Harris want to be on record and, more importantly, want the public to know they emphatically deny in the strongest way possible the egregiously appalling allegations being made against them by Sabrina Peterson,” the statement read. “The Harrises have had difficulty with this woman for well over a decade. They are taking this matter very seriously, and if these allegations don’t end, they will take appropriate legal action.”
Shortly afterward, the “Live Your Life” rapper released an eight-minute video where he defended his wife’s character while also doubling down on his stance that Peterson’s claims were baseless.
“My wife, my wife is a beautiful person with an amazing spirit and a kind heart. She is a devoted mother, and she has a humble soul. She don’t deserve this. She don’t deserve this,” the rapper said.
T.I. explained that they were opposed to divulging their bedroom affairs to the public. However, he denied ever forcing anyone to participate in sexual activities with him and his wife. “We ain’t never forced nobody, we ain’t never drugged nobody against their will, we ain’t never held nobody against their will, we ain’t never made nobody do anything,” he continued. “We ain’t never trafficked anything, well, sexually trafficked anything. I ain’t never raped nobody, never raped nobody.”
The actor said women should have the freedom and reassurance to tell their stories and identify any attacker. However, he said the reports against him and his wife are doing a disservice to those efforts.
Earlier this week, prominent lawyer Lisa Bloom, who is known for representing plaintiffs in sexual harassment cases, reposted a claim from one of the women on Twitter. “Good Lord. So many accusers,” she wrote. She later added, “And now I represent one of them.”
Bloom also reacted to news of the show’s postponement, calling it “the right call.” She added, “Independently investigate. Reach a conclusion. Hold wrongdoers accountable. Really not that hard.”