The fractured relationship between Deidra “DJ Spinderella” Roper and her former groupmates Cheryl “Salt” James and Sandra “Pepa” Denton is on the brink of a permanent break, according to an interview that the emcee recently did with Billboard.
“The relationship is over,” Roper revealed to Jordyn Rolling on Thursday while discussing her treatment both in the group and after her unceremonious termination in 2019. She spoke of the circumstances surrounding her entry into Salt-N-Pepa—she was brought in by the group’s producer, Herbie “Love Bug” Azor, to replace the original Spinderella in 1987—and hypothesized that the rapping duo may have felt like they “inherited” her instead of considering her an equal collaborator. Two years ago, Roper informed fans that Denton and James fired her from the group via email, causing her to sue her former groupmates for royalties. (The issue was settled privately and out of court.)
Last month, the group was the subject of the Lifetime film Salt-N-Pepa, which was written and produced by the rappers. Roper took to social media the night before the premiere to express her disappointment in the project, claiming that she was excluded from the process and ultimately did not approve of the film. These recent grievances only exacerbate an already tumultuous relationship, which has been well-documented over the years. The emcee even appeared on Denton and James’ 2007 VH1 reality series The Salt-N-Pepa Show twice, which only emphasized how much they had grown apart.
Previously, the group teased a potential reunion. While the rappers have vaguely alluded to the possibility, Roper says that while she is open to the idea, it would require “serious mediation” and reconciliation. “The only way something like that would happen is if we get this business handled and that they offer an apology to me.” She added: “When you have a legacy, you want to make sure that would outweigh this stuff. So I’m not, you know, I’m not closed off to that, 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.”