‘Notorious’ Writer Responds To Lil’ Kim’s Accusations

Screenwriter Reggie Rock Bythewood says Kim saw an early version of the script.

The Queen Bee unleashed her venom on the team behind the Biggie biopic, “Notorious,” saying “most of the story is bullsh–” and complaining that the actress who played her in the film never even reached out to her.

In a recent cover story with Hip-Hop Weekly, Kim — who said she has not seen the film — said she believed Big’s wife, Faith Evans, and his mother, Voletta Wallace, were behind the snub.

Evans, however, denied that accusation, explaining to MTV News last week that the movie was adapted from the book, “Unbelievable: The Life, Death and Afterlife of the Notorious B.I.G.,” by Cheo Hodari Coker (although the screenplay is actually an original story written by Coker and Reggie Rock Bythewood).

“It’s not like [the film's producers, which include Diddy, Big's former manager Wayne Barrow and Ms. Wallace] are calling Faith to write something about somebody,” Evans said. “It’s based on a book that I think she participated in as well.”

Now, one of the writers of the screenplay, Bythewood — whose credits include directing the film “Biker Boyz” — is clarifying the lady lyricist’s portrayal in the movie.

“When I was brought onto the project, I requested to speak with Kim,” Bythewood told MTV News on Saturday via e-mail. “Once I was granted access, I was blown away by the two-hour phone interview [we had]. She is a complex person. She is a sister with a lot of vulnerability and a lot of strength. Much of what she told me went directly into my next draft. Unfortunately, she was slipped a draft that was written
before our conversation. She was angry at the producers and I did not get to speak with her again.”

Kim told Hip-Hop Weekly that she received a copy of the script and also viewed Naturi Naughton’s audition reel. Naughton was cast for the role of Queen Bee after auditioning several times. According to Kim, though, the former 3LW singer was the worst of the potential crop to play her.

Coker told MTV News on Monday (January 12) that the copy of the script obtained by Kim was a draft that leaked at the time, and said he believes that once Kim sees the completed project, she’ll be satisfied with the account of events. He also went on to say that the fans will have the opportunity to see a sympathetic side of Kim in “Notorious” that they may not have been exposed to for quite some time.

Bythewood also defended the final script, despite it not including every detail.

“Some of what I wrote about Kim did not make it in the final version of the script,” he wrote. “Those decisions were made not just by me but by the studio, director and producers. In a film like this, it is hard to put everything in. However, my aim was to present a real-life human being beyond the icon we know. Biggie did right by her at times. He also did her wrong at times. In spite of that, there was deep love and caring between them. Though Lil Kim has been victimized at times, she has never remained a victim. I think director George Tillman and Naturi Naughton, who plays Lil Kim, did a great job revealing that.”

MTV News has even more B.I.G. things on the horizon surrounding “Notorious” — stay tuned for more in the coming days!