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Posted: 11:57 p.m. Wednesday, Oct. 30, 2013

Pebbles bites back at unflattering TLC film portrayal 

Getty Images
ATLANTA - OCTOBER 03:CEO Upfront Devyne Stephens and Recording Artist Perri 'Pebbles' Reid attend the T.J. Martell Foundation's Best Cellars Dinner at the Ritz-Carlton Buckhead on October 3, 2009 in Atlanta, Georgia. Pebbles is upset by how she was portrayed in the VH1 film "CrazySexyCool: The TLC Story." (Photo by Rick Diamond/Getty Images)


Rochelle Aytes photo
Getty Images
Rochelle Aytes played Pebbles in the film "CrazySexyCool: The TLC Story" on VH1, which debuted October 21, 2013.
TLC cast photo
Getty Images
NEW YORK, NY - OCTOBER 15: Keke Palmer, Chilli, Drew Sidora, T-Boz and Rochelle Aytes attends the CrazySexyCool Premiere Event at AMC Loews Lincoln Square 13 theater on October 15, 2013 in New York City. (Photo by Brad Barket/Getty Images for VH1)

By Rodney Ho

Last week, VH1 aired the film version of the TLC story "CrazySexyCool," which drew 4.5 million viewers, a huge success for the network.

It featured an actress Rochelle Aytes as a not terribly kind Perri "Pebbles" Reid as the woman who created the Atlanta R&B/hip-hop girl group and managed them during their early years.

Pebbles, who was a solo artist with a few hits in the 1980s including "Mercedes Boy," in the movie told them she was their big sister watching out for them in a male-dominated industry. But in the eyes of Rozonda "Chilli" Thomas and Tionne "T-Boz" Watkins, she was a master manipulator who preyed on their ignorance and prevented them from enjoying the financial spoils of their success. TLC ultimately filed for bankruptcy protection. (T-Boz has said the group only pocketed $15,000 after selling 10 million records.)

Chilli and T-Boz, the surviving members of TLC, were executive producers of the film.

Pebbles Wednesday released a statement on her Facebook page in response, in which she called the film an "unprovoked attack" featuring "many false and defamatory statements and scenes about me." She said she never cheated or misled anyone. Her attorney is going to demand a 'retraction" from VH1, whatever that would entail.

T-Boz, at the New York premiere, told a gossip website that we "can respectfully agree to disagree, but I’m not slandering you,” T-Boz said, directing her comments to Pebbles. “You can’t tell me my perception of you and how I felt about what you said or did to me. That’s not slander. That’s called telling the truth, boo.” (Read more here.)

Here is Pebbles' statement in full:

First I want to thank all of you for the well wishes and prayers. I apologize for the delay in responding to the movie, but I wanted to gather my thoughts. I have always been a private person and this unprovoked attack has been extremely upsetting to me and my family. I have needed time to spend with my family and for personal reflection.

The movie contains many false and defamatory statements and scenes about me. Please know that I have never cheated or mislead anyone. I will defend my reputation, accomplishments, and character. My attorney is in the process of demanding a retraction of the false and defamatory statements and scenes about me from VH1.

My silence has empowered individuals looking for a payday at my expense. I have held my peace for 20 years and it’s time the truth comes out. I will be sharing my story in the appropriate venue at the appropriate time. With all my heart I thank you for your faithful support.

I am extremely proud of the success and massive accomplishments of TLC—the group I discovered, managed, and mentored. I helped push open doors for TLC and other women in this male dominated industry. My sacrifices ultimately opened the door for not only a new wave of female performers in this industry but also a new generation of female executives. That backdrop makes the movie extremely personally upsetting to me.

Rodney Ho

About Rodney Ho

I cover local radio and TV for both the print and online editions. I write a blog on the same topics.

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July 1, 2012

Kim Kardashian and Kanye West: America's royals?

Yeah, yeah, yeah so Prince George turns 1 today. Big deal. Over here in the Colonies we get to vote on our royals and we've coronated - yep - Kimye.

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