Tisha Campbell and Martin Lawrence: Inside the sexual battery lawsuit that split 'Martin' co-stars
Tisha Campbell, star of the '90s iconic television series 'Martin' opened up about her former partner and co-star Martin Lawrence ahead of the much-awaited reunion of the iconic sitcom. Campbell, who left the show in November 1996, had filed a lawsuit against Lawrence in 1997, charging him with “repeated and escalating sexual harassment, sexual battery, verbal abuse, and related threats,” according to People magazine. The suit was settled out of court.
Following the announcement of the much-anticipated reboot of the sitcom, Campbell spoke to CBS Mornings discussing her relationship with Lawrence and how their dissolved friendship played a factor in the ending of 'Martin'. "We are—we worked really hard to reconnect, to forgive, and to really, this reunion is about a celebration of everything that we did, everything that we accomplished, and our growth as human beings," said the actress. "So, we concentrated mostly on that", Campbell told CBS Mornings. Back in May this year Disney cut off ties with Fred Savage, the director of ABC’s ‘The Wonder Years’ reboot after an investigation into three separate allegations of misconduct against him. In April, Cuba Gooding Jr pleaded guilty to forcible touching a waitress and kissing her on her lips' without consent at the LAVO New York nightclub.
“The cast will look back on the show’s most hilarious moments, revisit the iconic characters Martin made famous and pay an emotional tribute to the late, great Tommy Ford,” a BET+ announcement reportedly stated regarding the reboot for 'Martin'. “Complete with musical performances and drop-ins by celebrity super fans, Martin: The Reunion brings back the wazzup wazzup wazzup passion fans have been waiting for.”
During the CBS interview, Campbell recalled her filming days with the series. “It was amazing, just being with everybody, we were finishing each other’s sentences. We were joking, we were laughing,” she recalled. “It was like being on set again.”
Lawsuit against Lawrence
In 1997, Campbell sued Lawrence for sexual harassment. She claimed that the sexual harassment happened on and off the screen. She refused to film scenes with Lawrence during season five of “Martin,” and the show ultimately ended. In January 2020, during an interview with GQ magazine, Lawrence spoke about the lawsuit filed against him and said "none of that was true. It was all a lot of bulls**t and, just whoever’s side it was, it was bulls–t,” he said, adding that the two never spoke about the lawsuit. “We don’t need to talk about something that just didn’t happen. So I just decided to walk away from the show. I just decided to end it. People said that I got canceled, but that wasn’t the case. I decided to just leave the show.” He further added, “I love Tisha. I’ve seen her then and now, now and then, always with nothing but love. I have nothing but love for her, and I always have.”
Later, Campbell also addressed the GQ interview during an appearance on 'The Talk'. Though she said she was shocked by Lawrence's comments, she told the hosts she and her former co-star are now on good terms. "I can’t go into much detail about the past because there was a confidentiality agreement, so the gag order says no. But, what I can say is … I was actually kind of shocked," she said, adding that some people wanted her to not address the comments, while others encouraged her to clap back. "... So I hit [Lawrence] up. He called me within a minute … He was like, 'Don’t read into what it is, there’s a lot of people that’s trying to bring up the past, and trying to make it news today. But, you know T, we’re good. I love you and I love your family.", she said.
'Martin: The Reunion'
The much-awaited reunion of the classic sitcom is set to air on BET+ on June 16 and will feature original stars, Lawrence, Campbell, Tichina Arnold, Carl Anthony Payne II, with the exception of beloved castmate Tommy Ford who died in 2016 after suffering a ruptured abdominal aneurysm. It will be hosted by Affion Crockett and the cast will join each other on the legendary “Martin” living room set to reminisce about the show’s five seasons.