TLC's Lisa 'Left Eye' Lopes was set to marry Andre Rison despite their rocky relationship before her tragic death
TLC's Lisa Lopes and former football star Andre Rison were 'hopelessly in love'
As far as tumultuous relationships go, one would think none could beat that of Rihanna and Chris Brown. After all, a heated argument between the pair did result in Brown beating Rihanna and leaving her with visible facial injuries that required hospitalization. He even pleaded guilty to charges of felony assault over the incident and had to serve community labor, five years of probation, and attend domestic violence counseling.
But even that wouldn't hold a candle to the instability that ran between hip-hop star Lisa "Left Eye" Lopes of TLC fame and former football player Andre "Bad Moon" Rison.
The pair had met just when TLC had begun making waves across the country and the world, following the success of their debut record 'Ooooooohhh... On the TLC Tip,' which scored three top-10 singles on the Billboard Hot 100 and was certified quadruple-platinum. A little over a year after its release, Lopes had met Rison, then a star wide receiver for the Atlanta Falcons, and it was clear from the outset that they were not exactly compatible with each other.
Six months in, Rison was arrested in a parking lot for allegedly physically abusing Lopes and shooting from a handgun in the air to prevent others from intervening.
While the charges against Rison were dropped on that occasion, their relationship was threatening to catch fire at any moment. All that was needed to be ablaze (quite literally) was a pair of sneakers.
On June 8, 1994, Rison had reportedly gone out clubbing with friends, leaving Lopes behind. Annoyed, she had also gone out with friends, but returned to their shared home much earlier and eventually confronted her boyfriend in the driveway at 5 am.
Lopes was reportedly angry that the football star had bought lots of new sneakers for himself without getting her any, and the argument escalated to the point it became physical.
Rison slapped Lopes in a bid to calm her down, or so he claims, and when that didn't work, they took the fight inside, where he is said to have slammed her onto the bed and sat down on her.
Fed up that it was going nowhere, he left the home, and Lopes reportedly set fire to a pair of sneakers in the bathtub and then went outside. She then broke the windshield of three of Rison's luxury vehicles with a cleaner pipe.
As she went on her destruction spree, the fire in the bathtub spread to the rest of the house, entirely engulfing it. Rison's brother Reggie, who was at the scene, claimed Lopes was standing outside, watching the flames consume the $1.3 million mansion.
She turned herself to the police a day later and was charged with arson. She was able to walk out of jail on a $75,000 bond. Five days later, her lawyer announced she had entered rehab, and despite her assertions that she did not intend to set fire to the house, she was sentenced to live at a halfway house and five years probation, in addition to paying a $10,000 fine.
Yet, that was not the end of the relationship! Rison publicly announced that he still loved Lopes and that he cared more about losing her than about losing the house.
"I have cried a lot," he was quoted saying, "but I can’t say that I’ve shed one tear for the house. I can replace a house, but I can’t replace the life I had, or a certain girl."
Indeed, it appeared as though Lopes felt the same way. "You know, me and Andre just have a bond that no one will understand. Sometimes, even I don’t," she had said.
Those comments had come as it was rumored that she and Rison had tied the knot in 2001, something the footballer had said they would be doing in a radio show. The couple may have gone ahead with it too if it weren't for the TLC star getting killed in an automobile incident while conducting charity work in Honduras.
The story of Lopes and Rison will feature in the first episode of Lifetime documentary 'Hopelessly In Love,' a tentpole documentary film series that will explore the love stories of infamous couples in pop culture.
Each episode will be two hours long and will cover the relationships through the eyes of the couple, as well as those close to them. Besides Lopes and Rison, 'Hopelessly in Love' will also delve into the stories of Anna Nicole Smith and Larry Birkhead, Notorious B.I.G and Faith Evans, among others.
'Hopelessly in Love' will premiere on January 4, 2020, at 9.30 pm ET on Lifetime.