The end of 2018 brought out shocking news about director/producer Salim Akil and his showrunner/producer/writer wife Mara Brock Akil, but a year later the couple appears to still be going strong, despite accusations of physical and sexual abuse brought against Salim.
On Christmas, the “Girlfriends” creator shared the first photo of her and her husband together since the allegations, confirming in the caption that the two are still married and very much together. She wrote: “MR and MRS CLAUS// What a beautiful way to end this year— shopping for those we love with grateful hearts together!”
In November 2018, actor and director Amber Dixon Brenner filed a lawsuit claiming she’d endured a decade-long “physically and sexually abusive relationship” with 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.
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“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.”
Brenner also sued for breach of contract, claiming she had written a script based on their relationship which Salim then used elements of for other projects without giving her proper credit. One such project was the OWN TV Show “Love Is ___” which was subsequently cancelled following public news of the lawsuit and accompanying accusations.
Last December, Mara shared her disappointment about the cancellation on Instagram, writing:
“LOVE IS___ I am saddened that this great group of #artists and #storytellers will no longer get to create together on this project in this way. This was a special tribe— assembling teams like this is by the grace of God— and I will miss not being on set with them to make more magic. And though I know we will all go on to create more amazing work, I’m grateful there was a moment in time that we came together and had the courage to give our best to try and tell a story about love with love.”
Mara has yet to comment on the allegations against Salim or the claim from Brenner that she knew about their relationship and the abuse she endured at the hands of her husband. Many assumed the fact that she’d only posted photos of herself over the past year (save for this Father’s Day post to Salim) was an unspoken declaration of her disapproval of his behavior and their separation. But given that most of us don’t know what’s really going on behind the scenes, this latest post at least reveals they are showing a united front in public.
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