Martin Lawrence and Tisha Campbell-Martin Are Going Back and Forth Over An Old Sexual Harassment Lawsuit

The year was 1997, and Tisha Campbell-Martin had just filed a sexual harassment lawsuit against her Martin co-star Martin Lawrence. In it, the actress reportedly claimed that Lawrence had allegedly harassed her throughout the show’s entire run, which lasted from 1992 to 1997. He denied her claims, and the matter was later resolved.

In early January 2020, Lawrence opened up about the drama and dismissed the lawsuit as “bullsh*t, sparking a bit of a back-and-forth between him and his former co-star.

Martin Lawrence and Tisha Campbell-Martin
Martin Lawrence and Tisha Campbell-Martin | Aaron Rapoport/Corbis/Getty Images

What to know about the lawsuit

In 1997, Campbell-Martin accused Lawrence in a lawsuit of “repeated and escalating sexual harassment, sexual battery, and verbal abuse.”

Per The Los Angeles Times, the lawsuit claimed that Lawrence had allegedly started harassing Campbell-Martin in season one after she refused to go out with him.

In season 2, the lawsuit alleged, Lawrence “became increasingly manic and volatile” and would often lash out “for no apparent or rational reason.” The suit alleged that he would threaten to fire the Martin crew and inappropriately touch Campbell-Martin when they weren’t filming.

By season five, Campbell-Martin had reportedly become so “terrified and concerned for her safety” that she quit the show. She reportedly exited the series in November 1996.

Lawrence denied the claims, saying in a statement that he had “long been Tisha’s champion and protector” and was “deeply hurt” by her accusations. He also said there was “no merit to the lawsuit” and that it would be “vigorously defended.”

In March 1997, Variety reported that “all the parties involved [had] resolved their differences.” The terms of the apparent settlement were not disclosed to the public.

Campbell-Martin later returned to the show to finish season five but refused to appear in any scenes with her co-star. Martin went off the air after the fifth season.

Martin Lawrence recently talked about the lawsuit

Ahead of the release of his new film Bad Boys for Life, Lawrence sat down with GQ for a wide-ranging chat. At one point in the Jan. 6 interview, he opened up about the decision to end his hit show.

“Well, how can I say this?” he started. “It just was time to end. Let’s just put it that way. It was just, at that time, there was some, um, there were some things that was being said that —”

Interrupting, the interviewer asked whether Lawrence was referring to Campbell-Martin’s lawsuit.

“Yeah. Yeah,” Lawrence admitted. He went on to say that “none of that was true” and that “it was all a lot of bullsh*t.”

Lawrence also said that he and Campbell-Martin had never spoken about their legal battle, explaining, “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 concluded by saying that he has lots of love for Campbell-Martin and “always” has.

Tisha Campbell-Martin then reacted to Martin Lawrence’s comments

During a later appearance on The Talk, Campbell-Martin opened up about the way Lawrence seemingly dismissed her lawsuit. She confessed to the hosts that his comments initially caught her off guard.

“I can’t go into much detail about the past because there was a confidentiality agreement, so the gag order says no,” she said. “But what I can say is…I was actually kind of shocked.”

After contemplating whether to contact and confront him, Campbell-Martin said she decided to send the Blue Streak actor a message. Lawrence, she said, called her within a minute.

“He was like, ‘Yeah, T, 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 added.

She noted that she and Lawrence met up in early 2018 for the first time in years and hashed out their issues. She described the meeting as a moment of “healing” and admitted that she and Lawrence are now on “good” terms. So, she’s not trying to let this get in the way of that.

As of writing, Lawrence has not commented on her remarks. But it looks like there’s not much left to say.

Read more: Martin Lawrence Addresses Dave Chappelle’s Comments About His Bizarre 1996 Traffic Incident