Black Lightning showrunner, Salim Akil, is finally speaking out and addressing the allegations of sexual abuse, domestic violence, and copyright infringement brought against him by actress Amber Dixon Brenner, according to a report from Deadline. In a statement released by his attorney, Stephen D. Barnes of law firm Barnes, Morris, Klein, & Yorn, Akil is denying all allegations against him.
“These allegations are deeply upsetting — but they are also totally untrue,” the statement read. “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.”
The statement went on to say that “Salim looks forward to clearing his name and to being able to focus on his work and his family.”
As previously reported by the Inquisitr, Brenner, who claims she is Akil’s ex-lover of 10 years during the time he was married to writer and producer Mara Brock Akil, said Akil was violent toward her throughout their relationship. She 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 specific instance of abuse where Akil allegedly forced her to perform oral sex and urinated in her mouth.
Brenner also accused the producer of stealing an idea she pitched to him while they were dating. She claims he used her screenplay in his own work, including Love Is, which tells the story of Akil and Brock Akil’s relationship and how they met and fell in love in the ’90s.
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LOVE IS___ A photo you love of you and your love! I mean come on... look at the tonal composition— it’s just magic! Beginning with the #LOVEis color on the backdrop. And I’m wearing black, he’s wearing grey, both of us are rocking the salt and pepper in my braids and in his beard. And Salim is SMILING! Can we get a church clap for that? And then the reason we are even taking this picture is because of the success of #BlackLightning and its return to #ComicCon. We’re still here, just like in our relationship, we’re still here... together! It’s rare the two of us are in a picture... but we have this one and I will cherish it. I mean, come on, did the stars align for us on this snap or what?! Did not plan this at all! (S/O to @gettyimages) #sdcc2018 #InTheLandOf #AMagicMoment
Brenner claimed she stayed with Akil despite the alleged abuse because she thought she was in love 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.
It has been reported that Warner Bros. TV has previously opened an investigation of the claims since Akil is linked to WBTV shows, including Black Lightning and Love Is. Brenner has also brought copyright infringement claims against Oprah Winfrey’s OWN. At the time of reporting, OWN has not made it clear if they have opened an investigation into any of these allegations.
Deadline noted, “Defendants in the federal copyright infringement case have until December 28 to respond formally to Brenner’s filing.”