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“Black Lightning” Showrunner Salim Akil Is Being Investigated After Being Accused Of Domestic Violence

Warner Bros. TV is investigating Akil after a woman claimed he physically and sexually abused her, as well as mined elements from a script she gave him to use for his own shows.

Posted on November 30, 2018, at 9:30 p.m. ET

Randy Shropshire / Getty Images

Warner Bros. TV is investigating Black Lightning showrunner Salim Akil after actor and writer Amber Dixon Brenner filed a lawsuit in California alleging the producer physically and sexually abused her.

She also states that he mined elements from a script she gave him, to use for his own shows.

Brenner says that she began a relationship with Akil 10 years ago that did not end until last year.

In a complaint first reported by Jezebel, Brenner cites multiple instances where Akil allegedly struck her in the face, including one time in a Roosevelt Hotel bathroom where he then proceeded to force her to perform oral sex. When Brenner began to perform oral sex, she alleges Akil then urinated in her mouth. When Akil allegedly struck her another time in Atlanta after they had just had sex, Brenner says she could not close her jaw.

Brenner’s allegations of copyright infringement stem from a screenplay she wrote titled Luv & Perversity in the East Village. It centers on a young black woman professional in the entertainment industry “who falls in love with a dominant and aggressive male who turns her life upside down.”

Brenner says she sent it to Akil in 2016 to show how she felt being in love in the context of an abusive relationship. She says he then sent an email acknowledging he read it, but later developed a pilot at ABC with his wife, Mara Brock Akil (Being Mary Jane), that morphed into the show Love Is for OWN.

Love Is also centers on a young black woman professional in the entertainment industry who falls in love with a dominant and aggressive male.

Among other things, Brenner is seeking punitive and compensatory damages for emotional distress.

Akil did not immediately respond to BuzzFeed News’ request for comment.

A BuzzFeed News investigation, in partnership with the International Consortium of Investigative Journalists, based on thousands of documents the government didn't want you to see.