More than 20 years after his self-titled sitcom went off the air, Martin Lawrence is opening up about what led to the show’s demise. In an interview with GQ magazine, Lawrence reveled that he left Martin after his co-star, Tisha Campbell, accused him of abuse and sexual harassment.
Although Lawrence initially stated, “It was just time to end” the hit Fox series, he addressed Campbell’s past allegations. “None of that was true. It was all a lot of bullshit.”
Campbell abruptly quit Martin in 1997, following a string of incidents involving Lawrence, which included him getting arrested after acting erratically while waving a gun in the middle of an intersection. According to a 1997 People magazine report, producers sued Campbell for quitting the show and she countersued with accusations against Lawrence. The parties reached an out-of-court settlement and Campbell agreed to return to the show on the condition that she be allowed to film scenes separate from Lawrence.
Lawrence and Campbell have since moved on and have a good relationship, but never spoke about Campbell’s claims.
“We don’t need to talk about something that just didn’t happen,” said Lawrence. “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.”
“I love Tisha,” he continued. “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.”
Elsewhere in the interview, Lawrence reflects on his career beginnings, feeling overworked at the height of his stardom, and taking a break from the entertainment world. The Maryland native also touches on the turbulence of his past, such as the aforementioned 1996 arrest for carrying a concealed weapon, slipping into a coma, and learning to walk again.
Now that he’s had time off from the spotlight, Lawrence laments that he’s still “hungry” for new projects. “I love feeding my family, I love helping people, I love taking care of people. And the only way to do that is to keep the train going and hopefully, due to the grace of God, I’ll be able to stop the train when I’m ready to stop.”
As for why it took over a decade for another installment of the Bad Boys franchise Lawrence revealed, “The script wasn’t right. And Will, to his credit, refused to do the movie until the script was right. It wouldn’t have been a good movie. We didn’t want that. We wanted to do a sequel where people would go, ‘Oh, man, that’s what I’m talking about. It just gets better.’”
Bad Boys For Life hits theaters on Jan. 17.