Actress Amber Brenner is suing director/producer Salim Akil for breach of contract & domestic violence
Director/producer and husband of Mara Brock Akil, Salim Akil, is being accused by actress Amber Brenner of domestic violence and a breach of contract, according to a report from Jezebel. Brenner filed suit against Akil on November 20th in California, claiming that the two had a “physically and sexually abusive relationship” which lasted about a decade. Brenner’s suit alleges that herself and Akil started “a dating relationship, which involved frequent sexual contact” about 10 years ago, while Akil was still married to Mara Brock Akil, whom he married in 1999.
Brenner details multiple instances of physical violence, including strangling, slapping, and forced oral sex. In one instance, Brenner alleges that at a birthday party in LA’s Roosevelt Hotel, Akil asked her to follow him into a bathroom, where he then slapped her, which made her stumble backward, before directing her to perform oral sex on him. Brenner also mentions that Akil urinated in her mouth in her account of this episode.
Brenner’s suit also contains a justification as to why she stayed and endured all of this abuse before coming forward. As with many powerful men in Hollywood, Akil appears to have leveraged his connections against Brenner to keep her docile. According to the lawsuit:
“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.”
Brenner’s claim of breach of contract comes from Akil’s use of her script Luv & Perversity in the East Village, which she wrote in 2015 for a series he pitched to ABC called Documenting Love. That series was never developed by ABC and Akil turned it into the OWN series Love Is _____. Brenner claims in the lawsuit that the two had an understanding her work was not to be used to create any intellectual property with. Her submission to Akil “was made with the implied understanding that Defendant Akil would not use any of the ideas within LPEV without the involvement and compensation of Plaintiff.”
Brenner’s suit is assessing that Akil be held liable for compensatory damages, emotional distress, attorney fees, and punitive damages. The amount which Brenner is asking Akil to cover is not listed in her suit, and Akil’s camp has not yet responded to media inquiries and requests for statements.