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Entertainment Law

TLC’s ex-manager files $40 million defamation lawsuit against Viacom over VH-1 biopic

Posted Apr 29, 2014 2:37 PM CDT
By Victor Li

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TLC—Rozonda "Chili" Thomas, Tionne "T-Boz" Watkins & Lisa "Left Eye" Lopes—in 1999. Everett Collection / Shutterstock.com

R&B group TLC doesn’t like scrubs. And based on their 2013 biopic on VH-1, they aren’t too fond of their old manager, Perri “Pebbles” Reid, either.

Turns out, Reid wasn’t fond of the way she was portrayed in the recent biopic. According to a Tuesday article in the New York Post, Reid sued Viacom, which produced the recent made-for-TV film CrazySexyCool: The TLC Story, to the tune of $40 million alleging defamation. Reid, who managed the band during TLC’s early days, filed suit in Atlanta federal district court late Friday afternoon accusing Viacom of portraying her “as a conniving and dishonest businesswoman who hoodwinked three innocent girls and exploited their talent for her own personal gain.”

According to the Post, Reid stated in her complaint that Viacom “ignored fundamental canons of journalistic and literary conduct by publishing false and defamatory accusations with actual malice.” Reid also said in her complaint that, contrary to the film’s portrayal of her, she always paid TLC what they were owed, she did not hide contract terms from them, and she did not control the band’s lawyers or accountants.

Reid has a long history with TLC. When the band famously filed for bankruptcy despite being one of the best-selling groups of the 1990s, they pointed the finger at their manager and sued Reid's management company and LaFace Records (which was run by Pebbles’ then-husband, L.A. Reid). The litigation was eventually settled when TLC signed a new record contract with LaFace in 1996 that gave them more money, the New York Times reported at the time.

Viacom declined to comment to the Post, saying: “It’s our policy not to comment on matters in litigation.”

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