Famed director and producer, Salim Akil, known for television and film projects like “Black Lightning,” “Being Mary Jane,” Sparkle (2012) and Jumping the Broom is facing a lawsuit from actor and fellow director, Amber Dixon Brenner.
According to Jezebel, Brenner filed a lawsuit on November 20, 2018, in California claiming that she had endured a years-long “physically and sexually abusive relationship” with Akil. In addition to the abuse, she is also suing him for breach of contract. Brenner claims she wrote a script based on their relationship and then Akil used elements of it for other projects without giving her proper credit.
Brenner alleges that she and Akil began “a dating relationship which involved frequent sexual contact” about ten years ago—running parallel to his 1999 marriage to writer/producer, Salim’s frequent business partner and mother of the couple’s two children, Mara Brock Akil.
Brenner accused Akil of numerous incidents involving physical violence in the form of slapping, strangling and forced oral sex. Brenner claims that during a birthday party in Los Angeles’ Roosevelt Hotel, Akil asked her to follow him into the bathroom. When she got there, he slapped her so hard, she stumbled backward. Then he demanded that she perform oral sex. Brenner claimed that during the act, Akil urinated in her mouth.
Another time, Brenner claimed that she asked Akil to stop having sex with her because the encounter became too painful. She alleged that “He refused to stop, saying: ‘uhnt uhnt [no, no]. Take it.”
One another occasion, Brenner says that on a patio outside of his house, Akil shoved three fingers up her anus and started lecturing her. She also cited multiple instances of him slapping her during sex.
She also alleged that Akil documented a sexual encounter without her consent and once photographed her licking a wall in an underground parking lot, which he’d commanded her to do.
Brenner also cites instances of verbal abuse. She claims that he indicated that he would dispose of her in a desert if she got pregnant and said if they were married and she cheated on him, “he would stick her hand in a hot skillet of grease.”
Incidentally, according to IMDB, Brenner is also married. She and film editor David Brenner wed in 2006 and have two children.
The lawsuit explains why she endured this relationship for as long as she did.
“The reasons why Plaintiff did not leave Akil after the very first of these instances occurred are complicated and the subject of significant resulting therapy for Plaintiff. Plaintiff believed that she loved Akil. She also looked up to him as a prominent motion picture television director in some of the same entertainment circles where Plaintiff socialized. Akil likewise would at times dangle potential acting roles and professional collaborations before Plaintiff. However, what we do know, is that these acts caused significant emotional and physical harm to the Plaintiff and were abusive; i.e., Akil intentionally or recklessly caused or attempted to cause bodily injury, or placing Plaintiff in reasonable apprehension of bodily injury.”
In addition to the violence, the breach of contract portion of the lawsuit alleges that Akil used elements from Brenner’s 2015 script Luv & Perversity in the East Village, to incorporate into a series he pitched to ABC “Documenting Love.” The show never made it to air. But Brenner says there are elements of her writing in current OWN series “Love Is ___.”
Brenner is subsequently suing for compensatory damages, emotional distress, attorney fees and punitive damages. The amount of her request is not disclosed in her complaint.
You can read Brenner’s lawsuit, in its entirety below.
Amber Brenner’s lawsuit… by on Scribd