Despite the duo’s name, DJ Spinderella has been an important member of Salt-N-Pepa for over three decades now. But the three are now embroiled in a sticky lawsuit filed by Spinderella (Deidra Roper) over unpaid royalties and a fraud.
In May, Roper said she was fired from the group in January via email, right before the group was supposed to go on tour with New Kids On the Block. In July, TMZ reported that Spinderella had sued her former group members Cheryl James and Sandra Denton, claiming she was owed royalties and even compensation for appearing at the 2018 Billboard Music Awards. Billboard now reports that the lawsuit has gone into meditation and Roper’s request for immediate relief was rejected.
“Unfortunately, Spin and her legal team adopted a scorched earth approach that brought unnecessary attention to a business dispute that all along could have, and should have, been settled amicably and privately,” the duo wrote in a statement, adding that they’ve been “extremely generous” to Roper over the years.
The whole thing appears to be extremely messy. A lawyer for Roper mentioned in a statement to Billboard that the Court denied a request for a “temporary restraining order” and in its place “Salt-N-Pepa have agreed [to] not make any reference to Spinderella in connection with any promotion, and will make good faith efforts to cause others to honor the same.”
It’s unclear why Roper was fired from the group. Roper was the second DJ in Salt-N-Pepa’s history (the first was Latoya Hanson, who left the group shortly after their debut album was released), but she was a key member and won a Grammy with James and Denton in 1994. As a classic turntable DJ, it’s hard not to see the group cutting Roper out as potentially dismissing a very old-school aspect of their work, or in some way diminishing the work DJ’s do in hip-hop as opposed to MCs.