There’s no question that Martin is one of the greatest shows of our culture, and with a reunion special forthcoming, fans are excited. The series ran for five seasons and starred Martin Lawrence, Tisha Campbell, Tichina Arnold, Thomas Ford, and Carl Anthony Payne II, navigating life, love, career, and friendships. The most dynamic of the bunch was the romantic relationship between Lawrence and Campbell’s characters. Things ended abruptly in 1997 amid a sexual harassment lawsuit and claim Campbell made against Lawrence.
JET Magazine profiled the lawsuit in their January 1997 issue. Campbell alleged the conditions she worked under were “intolerable” and that she “was subjected to repeated and escalating sexual harassment, sexual battery, verbal abuse and related threats to her physical safety” by Lawrence, which she says began in the show’s first season.
According to Campbell, Lawrence asked her out on dates, and she declined. As seasons progressed, she claimed that Lawrence’s behavior worsened with tantrums, outbursts, and threats when he didn’t get his way on set.
She even went as far as requesting that writers stop incorporating scenes featuring her and Lawrence in bed together, saying that Lawrence took their love scenes too far with excessive groping and using tongue while kissing despite her requesting he did not.
Lawrence denied the allegations, and Campbell quit, leaving the show’s producers to find creative ways to keep their love story going
As a compromise, Lawrence and Campbell agreed not to be on set together, and not film any scenes together – including the finale episode.
The chemistry between Lawrence and Campbell was magnetic. Rewatching reruns for fans ignite the same magic. Campbell told Gayle King in a recent interview that the reunion allowed the on-screen couple to pick up right where they left off.
“We were finishing each other’s sentences. We were joking. We were laughing. It was like being on set again.”
The reunion still comes as a surprise considering Campbell and Lawrence’s past. Many wondered how the two were able to come to any type of resolution after such hard allegations.
Campbell told King: “We worked really hard to reconnect, to forgive, and this reunion is about a celebration of everything that we did, everything that we accomplished, and our growth as human beings. And so, we concentrated mostly on that.”