Update: Director Salim Akil Responds to Physical & Sexual Abuse Allegations
Update: Salim Akil has denied claims that he sexually and physically abused Actress Amber Dixon Brenner. On Sunday, December 2nd, his lawyer, Stephen D. Barnes, released a statement to Deadline saying:
These allegations are deeply upsetting – but they are also totally untrue. 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. Salim looks forward to clearing his name and to being able to focus on his work and his family.
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Salim Akil has been accused of sexual abuse, physical abuse, and misconduct. Jezebel broke the story and published the lawsuit documents on Wednesday.
Actress Amber Dixon Brenner reportedly filed the lawsuit in California on November 20, 2018, claiming she had a “physically and sexually abusive relationship” with Akil that lasted years. Akil has been married to writer/producer Mara Brock Akil since 1999.
Brenner’s accusation include multiple accounts of physical and sexual violence detailed as slapping, strangling, and forced oral sex. The documents outline graphic complaints. Brenner alleges Akil asked her to follow him into a bathroom at Los Angeles’s Roosevelt Hotel, where he slapped her, and forced her to perform oral sex and urinated in her mouth.
The files also include accounts of verbal abuse. Brenner alleges Akil indicated he would dispose of her in a desert if she became pregnant, and said that if she cheated on him, “he would stick her hand in a hot skillet of grease.”
In addition to domestic violence, Brenner is also suing Akil for breach of contract over a script she alleges she wrote based on their relationship that Akil used without proper credit.
Akil has produced and directed various projects, including BET’s The Game and Being Mary Jane, CW’s Black Lightning, and the 2012 film Sparkle.