Woman claims tattoo parlor featured on VH1 left her disfigured

Posted at 2:31 PM, Apr 14, 2015
and last updated 2015-04-14 14:31:45-04


NEW YORK -- A woman claims a tattoo parlor in New York best known for its VH1 reality show "Black Ink Crew" left her "disfigured."

Asabi Barner was a confident woman in her 30s. Her body was never something she felt a need to cover up, until now. A tattoo coverup changed her life last year, Barner said in an exclusive interview with WPIX.

Barner says she desperately wanted to replace a unicorn and horseshoe tattoo she got when she was only 18. She went to Black Ink, a tattoo parlor in Harlem that has its own reality show on VH1, a massive following and is often frequented by celebrities.

Barner says the main reason she picked the parlor is because they claim to be the best when it comes to tattooing on African American skin.

A massive chest tattoo, she says, left her "disfigured."

While the tattoo was in Barner’s words “phenomenal” at first, the next morning the area surrounding her left breast started to ooze with pus. Barner consulted a tattoo artist in South Carolina, where she lives. The artist there said her skin was “overworked” in an attempt to bring out a white color for her tattoo and now more than a year later, Barner is still in pain.

Her skin has keloids, is raised, burns and itches to a point she can only have relief by applying an ice pack every single day.

Even a consultation with a plastic surgeon brought no hope. A doctor told her surgery would only make the scar worse.

“In the intimate moments, it creates a problem because you don’t have that confidence. I wasn’t overly confident before, but I felt good about myself. Felt good about my body, but it just changes you,” said Barner.

Barner is now suing Black Ink, claiming the shop was reckless, careless and negligent.

WPIX attempted to reach Black Ink numerous times, but was never able to reach anyone for comment. The voicemail for the shop was full and gates were closed the news crews went by the business.