BET Faces Defamation Lawsuit From Former 'Da Band' Singer
If you can remember the MTV reality show Making the Band 2, then you can probably remember singer Sara Stokes from the P. Diddy constructed hip-hop/R&B group Da Band. Stokes wowed viewers during her time on the show thanks to her singing abilities, but now she's wowing those who remember her for another reason - she's suing BET Networks for defamation of character, stemming from a new reality show that she was recently featured in, claiming the network tarnished her image.
Stokes recently starred in the Queen Latifah produced reality show From the Bottom Up, which airs on Centric TV, one of the BET affiliate stations. Stokes, along with four other women that people may be quite familiar with, were allegedly given an opportunity to rebuild their brand and image after negative situations took place in their lives. According to TMZ, that was not how things panned out for Stokes and now she's suing.
According to the site, Stokes was approached by the show's producers while she was serving out her jail sentence in the Saint Clair County Jail in Michigan, on a domestic violence charge against her husband. Reportedly, Stokes says the producers convinced that coming on board to do the show would allow her to reinvent herself to where she could tell her side of the story about what happend between her and her husband that ultimately landed her in jail.
As reported by Black America Web, it was back in 2014 where Stokes was arrested on domestic violence charges and violation of her probation, stemming from previous domestic violence charges involving her husband. In one account, she was arrested for stabbing her spouse in front of her three children. The new show, From the Bottom Up, was supposed to be a fresh start for the aspiring singer, but, according to Stokes, her representation on the reality show did everything but what it was supposed to do.
Stokes posted a picture of former BET CEO Robert (Bob) L. Johnson on her Instagram with caption that read "It's not the same anymore..."
Stokes is claiming that BET could've done exactly what they told her they were going to do with the show by allowin her to rebuild her brand and image to better position her for future endeavors, but instead, the network edited out most of the parts of her life that portray her as the good person that she is and not a "man beater" as the network labeled her. From the Bottom Up also stars Stacii Jae Johnson, former Atlanta Mayor's Office staffer who was jailed for a DUI; Kimberly Smedley, a cosmetic surgeon who served time in a Federal prison for a series of botched butt injections; Chrystale Wilson, who played Ronni in Players Club and faced a number of run-ins with the police that almost ended her career; and Christine Beatty, former Chief of Staff who had an affair with former Detroit mayor Kwame Kilpatrick, according to Essense.