Former TLC manager Perri "Pebbles" Reid scored a huge victory in her ongoing defamation lawsuit over the VH1 biopic about the popular 90's rap group. Pebbles filed a $40 lawsuit claiming that the 2013 TV movie CrazySexyCool: The TLC Story wrongfully portrayed her in the film.
Viacom recently filed a motion to have the lawsuit thrown out, but a judge sided with Pebbles. Now, the lawsuit will go on, and a jury will decide if the VH1 network and their parent company will be liable for damaging Pebbles' good name. The Jasmine Brand reported that while this is a victory for Pebbles, the judge also said that the members of TLC may not have been defaming their former manager in the TV portrayal when they claimed that they signed contracts with Pebbles but then were unable to obtain a copy.
Judge Allows Pebbles $40m VH1 Biopic Lawsuit To Continue To A Jury Trial - https://t.co/D3VyjJ5JaX pic.twitter.com/f3eonMRucP
— CyberTLC World (@CyberTLCWorld) September 16, 2016
In any case, the defamation case brought by Pebbles will go to trial, where a jury will determine if Viacom is liable for damages or if they portrayed the story of TLC and how their former manager played into events depicted in the movie honestly. According to court documents, Pebbles complained that the TLC TV movie "as a conniving and dishonest business woman who hoodwinked three innocent girls and exploited their talent for her own personal gain."
Pebbles claims that CrazySexyCool: The TLC Story wrongly depicted her relationship with the members of TLC. She says that she did not control the trio's lawyers. In the movie, T-Boz, Chilli, and Left Eye claimed that the group had the same team of lawyers that the management retained and that they acted in the best interest of Pebbles, failing to act in their best interests. Pebbles also says that the women were all paid everything that she owed them, contrary to events in the movie where they are in debt to the label and to Pebbles throughout much of their careers.
@zanelemahlalela out here looking like the member on the right from TLC. LOOL!! #TheNightCap @ujfm @zanelemahlalela pic.twitter.com/1ieYUP78Q3
— Mr. IronHip!! (@OG_KamoGEE) September 6, 2016
It's no secret that TLC did have money problems early in their career, but Pebbles ex-husband L.A. Reid said that it wasn't her fault. Instead, the Root reported that Reid blamed the cash flow dilemma on Arista and BMG records. During an interview in February of 2016, Reid explained how the record deal worked and said that in addition to Pebbles' managing the group, they were also signed to her record label, Pebbletone. That label was just a subsidiary of his own label, LaFace, but it got even more complicated than that. LaFace was a subsidiary of Arista Records, which also was a subsidiary of BMG.
"In fairness to her, she doesn't collect the money from record sales. Record companies do that," Reid explained. "At that point, we were in a joint venture with Arista and BMG. So if Pebbles is accused of not paying TLC, then that means that I didn't pay her, which means that they didn't pay me."
Essentially, L.A. Reid is saying that it wasn't Pebbles' fault that T-Boz, Chilli, and Left Eye were not being paid for their work. Instead, he points the blame at record executives at the top of the chain who were taking their share of the profits while short-changing the actual music stars in TLC because they hadn't paid back advances and the cost of recording albums even though they were the biggest entertainers in the business at that time.
#TLC on set for #NoScrubs! #FlashbackFriday pic.twitter.com/TAWkcbFq0u
— TV One (@tvonetv) September 9, 2016
Now, it will be up to a jury to decide if Pebbles was portrayed properly or if the 2013 VH1 movie is liable for damaging her reputation. Clearly, the members of TLC were not treated fairly on some level, whether it be Pebbles' fault or that of record executives higher up the ladder. If the jury awards damages in her favor, Viacom could be liable to pay damages to the former TLC manager to the tune of $40 million. Additionally, Pebbles has involved T-Boz and Chilli in the lawsuit
Additionally, Pebbles has involved T-Boz and Chilli in the lawsuit with threats to depose the women and have them questioned about her involvement with the group. The lawsuit has been ongoing for more than a year now, and with a judge ordered jury trial coming up, it is likely that a verdict will be reached sooner rather than later.
Do you think that Viacom is at fault for defamation of Perri "Pebbles" Reid's character, or did they depict her role in the management of TLC accurately? Tell us what you think in the comments section below.
[Featured Image by Rick Diamond/Getty Images]