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"I feel like this is very unfortunate. We’ve come to a crossroads where we have decided to agree to disagree," Cheryl "Salt" James said

By Georgia Slater
February 03, 2021 09:28 AM
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2018 Billboard Music Awards salt-n-pepa and spinderella
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Salt-N-Pepa are responding to recent criticism from former third member DJ Spinderella who claimed she was "wrongfully excluded" from the hip hop group's recent Lifetime biopic, Salt-N-Pepa.

During an episode of The Real, airing Wednesday, Cheryl "Salt" James and Sandra "Pepa" Denton addressed Spinderella's accusations and gave an update as to where the duo stands with the DJ, who was with the all-female group from 1987 until her termination in 2019.

"I reached out to Spinderella; I feel like this is very unfortunate," James began. "We've come to a crossroads where we have decided to agree to disagree. I definitely am open and Pepa's open. We've talked about it and our hearts are open, have always been open to Spinderella."

James, 54, went on to explain that there is more to the story than people realize.

"As far as the public is concerned, I'm really happy about the people who know that they don't know everything.  There's six sides to every story," she said. "We just hope that we can come to some sort of resolution in the future.  You never know. You never know what God is doing."

Denton, 54, jumped in to note that she and James did reach out to Spinderella (née Deidra Roper) regarding a certain part of the biopic.

"I just wanted to add to that, but I do want to clear up, there is a part that when Spinderella did say we excluded her. That part, Salt and I did reach out to consult with the movie," Denton said.

Salt N Pepa

The hip hop star explained that the biopic was created to focus on "the friendship of Sandy and Cheryl back in college."

"But yes, Spinderella joined us, a part of it. We will always acknowledge her contribution that she's done with us. She will always be our sister," Denton continued. "We love her, but we have always made sure that she had the opportunity and the platform. We always encourage her to be Spinderella and be supportive of her, so that is important."

James then added, "Perception is not reality."

James and Denton's comments come nearly two weeks after Spinderella, 50, shared a series of tweets about her exclusion from the biopic, which stars actresses GG Townson and Laila Odom as James and Denton, respectively.

"Sorry but I gotta speak on this Lifetime special.." Spinderella began. "Too often, Black women who have made meaningful contributions in their industry are left out of historical narratives. Back when Salt n' Pepa was building our legacy, which is rooted in empowering women, I could not have dreamed that this same group would one day disempower me."

The star continued, "Words cannot fully express my disappointment when I learned a decision was made to move forward with a Lifetime biopic that wrongfully excluded me from every aspect of development and production..all the while using my image throughout, given that I played an integral role in the group's story and success."

Spinderella went on to say that "there's nothing more unacceptable than a woman being silenced by another woman," adding that "for this reason," she "will not be supporting" the biopic.

"I do, however, want to offer a huge congratulations to the talented actresses that represented us, including Monique Paul, who I wish would've been given an opportunity to share my true perspective with," she said. "In reflection, I'm grateful I've managed to uphold a 30-year career of truly empowering women with my gift, against all odds. This will continue in my work and in my service."

Prior to the start of Salt-N-Pepa's tour in May 2019, Spinderella announced on social media that she would no longer be a part of the girl group after receiving a "termination email" several months prior.

Two months later, Spinderella sued Salt-N-Pepa for alleged unpaid royalties, multiple breaches of contract, fraud and intentional misrepresentation, according to court documents obtained by The Blast at the time.

The case was later dismissed in July 2019 after the trio reached a confidential settlement, according to TMZ.

Spinderella's final performance with Salt-N-Pepa was in the fall of 2018 as part of their Las Vegas residency. To date, no explanation for her dismissal has been publicly given.

Salt-N-Pepa premiered on Jan. 23 on Lifetime.