In a new interview, Bad Boys For Life star Martin Lawrence opened up about coming back into the spotlight to act, and the struggles he dealt with at the height of his career. If you’ll recall, Lawrence found himself going through a public breakdown in the mid-90s, brandishing a weapon in the middle of traffic in LA, claiming someone was trying to kill him. In 1999, he also slipped into a coma for three days and was on a ventilator after collapsing while jogging in a plastic suit to prepare for his role in Big Momma’s House. And then there was the lawsuit against him, filed by Martin co-star Tisha Campbell.
In the latter situation, she sued him in 1997 for alleged sexual harassment and abuse on and off camera. She refused to film most of season five, which ended up being the final season of the show. In his chat with GQ, Lawrence cleared the air about the impact the lawsuit had on the series, which many thought caused it to be canceled. He also stated that he was able to be around Campbell in the last few years, despite the allegations in that lawsuit, because “none of that was true.” Check out an excerpt from that part of the very interesting conversation:
You did the show for five seasons, right? How come it ended?
Well, how can I say this? 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—
You’re talking about Tisha Campbell’s lawsuit?
I saw that you guys had been spending time together recently.
Yeah. Because none of that was true. It was all a lot of bulls–t and—
What was bulls–t?
Just whoever’s side it was, it was bulls–t.
Did you guys ever talk about it?
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.
Let me ask the question a different way: Do you understand Tisha’s perspective differently now than you did then?
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.
As to what became of Campbell’s lawsuit, which was also against HBO Independent Productions, who she claimed didn’t take her complaints seriously, all parties in the suit “resolved their differences” according to a Variety report from 1997. Information about a settlement were not made public, but Campbell was able to come back to help end the series by filming the two-part series finale. Per the old Variety report though, the fate of the series hadn’t been decided by the time the lawsuit came to a close, which plays into Lawrence’s claims that the show wasn’t canceled, but that he chose to be done with it. In additional insight, the report also stated that there was actually supposed to be a spin-off of Martin starring Tichina Arnold (who played Pamela James) that never came to fruition. The more you know.
We certainly questioned why Campbell seemed comfortable being around Lawrence again, and with the idea of filming a Martin revival at one time a couple of years ago with the way things went down between them. It certainly made one wonder how the two were able to move forward, or what the lawsuit was really about when it was set into motion. Considering that she filed for divorce from husband Duane Martin a few weeks after reuniting with the cast of Martin, that also raised some questions. But now that we really know how Lawrence felt about everything, we’d love to hear Campbell’s side of things if she ever opens up about it. Fingers crossed…