‘Black Lightning’ Showrunner Salim Akil Facing Domestic Violence Allegations

Salim Akil speaking on stage during the Winter Television Critics Association Press Tour.
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Hollywood executive Salim Akil has been accused of domestic violence, sexual abuse, and breach of contract, according to a report from the Hollywood Reporter. In a complaint filed in the Los Angeles Superior Court on November 20, the Black Lightning producer is being accused by actress and alleged ex-lover Amber Dixon Brenner.

Brenner claims she and the producer, who has been married to writer and producer Mara Brock Akil since 1999, were involved for over 10 years. Throughout their relationship, Brenner says Akil was violent and has accused him of slapping her, physically assaulting her, and forcing her to perform sexual acts on him on numerous occasions.

In her lawsuit, the actress recalled one instance of abuse where she was told to meet Akil in the bathroom of the Los Angeles Roosevelt Hotel. When she opened the door, Akil allegedly slapped her and forced her to perform oral sex which later turned into him urinating on her. The explicit lawsuit, which was uploaded by THR, also made claims of verbal abuse.

Brenner said she stayed with Akil despite the abuse because she believed she loved him at the time.

“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],” the lawsuit stated.

While Salim Akil and Mara Brock Akil have yet to comment on the allegations, Warner Bros. TV is reportedly investigating the claims, since Akil is linked to WBTV shows, including Black Lightning and Love Is__.

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“While not saying anything publicly and taking a stance of innocent until proven guilty when it comes to the EP, the studio will be conducting an inquiry with cast and crew on the Atlanta filmed show and OWN’s Love Is__, we’ve learned,” Deadline has reported.

Along with the accusations of sexual abuse and domestic violence, Brenner is also claiming Akil stole her ideas. In the lawsuit, she said that she pitched Akil a screenplay entitled Luv & Perversity in the East Village, which is reportedly a story based on their “physically and sexually abusive relationship.” She goes on to say that Akil took moments from her screenplay and used them in his own work, including Love Is__, which airs on Oprah Winfrey’s OWN.

Love Is__ tells the story of Salim and Mara’s relationship and how they met and fell in love in Hollywood during the ’90s.

Brenner has also filed the necessary documents to sue the couple and OWN in federal court for copyright infringement.