Martin Lawrence is finally speaking about the real reason he ended his hit series Martin, explaining that he walked away from the show after co-star Tisha Campbell filed a sexual harassment lawsuit against him in 1997.
“Well, how can I say this? It just was time to end,” Lawrence told GQ magazine, initially hesitant to open up.
When asked if his reason involved the lawsuit brought forth by Campbell, who played Lawrence’s onscreen wife Gina in the series that ran from 1992 to 1997, the actor confirmed it was the reason he walked away from the show.
“Yeah, because none of that was true. It was all a lot of bullshit 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.”
Campbell, who left the show in November 1996, charged Lawrence with “repeated and escalating sexual harassment, sexual battery, verbal abuse and related threats,” according to People magazine. The suit was settled out of court.
Lawrence said that he’s since bumped into Campbell and there’s nothing but love between the two.
“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.”
Campbell confirmed that the two have since made up, saying on an episode of The Real last October that Lawrence reached out after the actress split from her longtime husband, Duane Martin.
“This is how I knew things were going to be okay: Martin called me the day after I separated to just reconnect,” she recalled.
Campbell called the reunion a part of her “healing.”
During the GQ interview, the actor also revealed that he stepped away from Hollywood for sometime due to suffering from a coma and having to relearn how to talk. People reported back in the 90s that the actor’s then-wife accused him of drug abuse along with violent behavior.
“I had to step back a little bit and get some time for myself. I was getting worn down a little bit. Scripts were just coming and coming and coming. I couldn’t do anything,” he recalled. “And I went through a coma and all that stuff.”
He added that the experience taught him that “God is great. That there is a God. And to value my life. I want to be here. And to show my kids a positive light. And that’s where I’m at. I give all praises to God.”
Lawrence is now starring in the highly-anticipated Bad Boys sequel, Bad Boys for Life, out January 17.