Family Matters Star Makes Stunning Accusation About Jaleel White's On-Set Behavior

"Family Matters" may be one of the best-loved sitcoms of the '90s, but that's not to say the vibe behind the scenes was always jovial. Quite the contrary, in fact, as more than one cast member has opened up about the dark side of "Family Matters," which saw tensions between the show's co-stars. Of those tensions, many revolved around the show's breakout star, Jaleel White. Now, one of his co-stars, JoMarie Payton, is adding her voice to the rumblings of discord.

As a refresher, per Entertainment Weekly, in 2021, White told "Uncensored" that his early days on the show weren't always easy. "I was not very well welcomed to the cast at all," he shrugged, adding that he felt much of the animosity came from his adult co-stars. Payton has since admitted to TV Series Finale that she did struggle to adjust when the show shifted to focus more on White's "Family Matters" character, Steve Urkel. "It was a real shocker to us," she said. "He was this little character ... and we had done 12 shows, and were a little family."

White has since revealed that he feels no need to "rehash" the resentment he experienced on-set: "They know what it is." He's also credited his co-stars Reggie Veljohnson and Telma Hopkins with bringing about a change in the atmosphere, and that by Season 3, the vibe was like that of a real family. However, just like a real family, sometimes tensions persist, and in a recent interview with Entertainment Tonight, Payton made a new, shocking claim about White.

JoMarie Payton accused Jaleel White of trying to get physical

Sitting down with Entertainment Tonight, JoMarie Payton reflected on her time on "Family Matters." However, her reminiscence went from fond to frustrated when asked about Jaleel White's "Uncensored" interview. "He needs to get over whatever's biting him," she scoffed, before dropping a bombshell revelation. That is, while shooting a Season 9 episode, he tried to physically fight her.

According to the actor, the altercation began after she told White he wouldn't be able to fight in a scene. "He was so mad he started kicking and screaming," she revealed. However, the real drama happened after she walked off set. "I heard him say something, and I said to Darius [McCrary], 'what'd he say?' He said, 'she must want to melee.' I said, 'what's a melee?' a fight!" She laughed, saying they nearly did come to blows after that, if not for McCrary holding her back: "I was going to whip his behind!" Shortly after the situation unfolded, Payton left "Family Matters." However, she told TV Series Finale that her exit halfway through the show's final season was unrelated, and that she did not appreciate rumors to the contrary. "It made me look like this scandalous person that was jealous of a kid," she complained. 

Like White, Payton has reiterated her love for her co-stars, regardless of any tensions in the past. "I love them all," she told Entertainment Tonight. Ultimately, even when things get heated, family is what matters most.