The famous master of ceremonies, 50, revealed that she would only consider a reunion with her bandmates Cheryl “Salt” James and Sandra “Pepa” Denton if they apologize.
Roper claims the rappers, both 54, fired her via email in 2019 and most recently — “wrongfully excluded” her from the making of Lifetime’s new biopic about the iconic group.
“The relationship is over,” Roper told Billboard, explaining that the way her “sisters” have allegedly treated her has been emotionally taxing. “The only way something like that would happen is if we get this business handled and they offer an apology to me.”
Roper sued James and Denton in 2019, two months after she claimed they sent her a “termination email”, and alleged unpaid royalties, multiple breaches of contract, fraud and intentional misrepresentation, according to court documents obtained by The Blast at the time.
The case was dismissed in July 2019 after all parties involved reached a confidential settlement. But she told Billboard there are “still some remnants” of the legal battle pending.
Reps for Roper and her Salt-N-Pepa bandmates did not immediately respond to PEOPLE’s requests for comment.
Roper joined Salt-N-Pepa in 1987 two years after its inception and replaced the group’s former emcee, Latoya Hanson. “When you have a legacy, you want to make sure it would outweigh this stuff,” she told Billboard. “I’m not closed off to [a reunion] but I will be respected. I will be treated fairly. … I will never be in a group that does not want to be with me.”
She also opened up about what she feels Salt-N-Pepa is supposed to represent. “It’s always what it’s been: to uplift women. [But] how are we going to uplift women if we can’t uplift each other? How does that make me feel? You make me feel that I’m not needed. … That’s not uplifting.”
And for Roper, the biggest slap in the face was the making of Lifetime’s film (which is named after the group). “This biopic was more … I think it was just more insulting to me,” Roper told Billboard, adding that she has yet to watch the movie.
On Jan. 22, one day ahead of its premiere, Roper expressed her grievances on Twitter. “Sorry, but I gotta speak on this Lifetime special..,” she began. “Too often, Black women who have made meaningful contributions in their industry are left out of historical narratives. Back when Salt n’ Pepa was building our legacy, which is rooted in empowering women, I could not have dreamed that this same group would one day disempower me.”
The star continued, “Words cannot fully express my disappointment when I learned a decision was made to move forward with a Lifetime biopic that wrongfully excluded me from every aspect of development and production..all the while using my image throughout, given that I played an integral role in the group’s story and success.” She went on to congratulate all of the film’s cast members.
On Thursday, James and Denton responded to some of Roper’s claims during their virtual appearance on The Real.
“I reached out to Spinderella. I feel like this is very unfortunate,” James said. “We’ve come to a crossroads where we have decided to agree to disagree. I definitely am open and Pepa’s open. We’ve talked about it and our hearts are open [and] have always been open to Spinderella.”
“As far as the public is concerned, I’m really happy about the people who know that they don’t know everything. There’s six sides to every story,” she continued. “We just hope that we can come to some sort of resolution in the future. You never know. You never know what God is doing.”
Denton also cleared the air regarding Lifetime’s film. “There is a part that when Spinderella [said] we excluded her. That part, Salt and I did reach out to consult with the movie.”
The hip hop star explained that the biopic was created to focus on “the friendship of Sandy and Cheryl back in college … But yes, Spinderella joined us, a part of it. We will always acknowledge her contribution that she’s done with us. She will always be our sister.”
Roper, who said she is happy to have overcome her bout with COVID-19, is working on a memoir. The star addresses her time with Salt-N-Pepa in the book, which is tentatively titled Queen on Deck and slated to be released later this year.
“I get to share who I am, because I’ve kind of been in the background, with my former group for the most part,” Roper said. “Coming out and doing this is really important to me to express me now.”