Comedians Tiffany Haddish and Aries Spears have been charged with child sex abuse in a new trial. First revealed in a report by The Daily Beast, two anonymous plaintiffs allege the comedians recruited them to perform lewd acts of a sexual nature in a series of comedy sketches filmed in 2013. The accusers, called John and Jane Doe, were 7 and 14 years old at the time of the alleged events.
Haddish’s attorney, Andrew Brettler of Lavely & Singer, sent the following statement to IndieWire:
“The plaintiff’s mother … has been trying to assert these false allegations against Ms. Haddish for several years. Every lawyer who initially took on her case – and there were several – eventually dropped the case once it became clear the claims were without merit and Ms Haddish would not be moved. Now, [the mother] to his adult daughter who is representing herself in this lawsuit. The two will face the consequences of continuing this frivolous action together.
In the statement, Haddish’s attorney revealed the last name of the accusers’ mother, which IndieWire will not reveal. Representatives for Aries Spears did not respond to IndieWire’s request for comment.
According to The Daily Beast, the siblings’ mother brokered a settlement in 2019, but the deal allegedly wouldn’t bind Haddish or the siblings. The new lawsuit is brought not by the mother but by John and Jane Doe.
Jane Doe told Daily Beast reporter Laura Bradley: ‘As an adult I now have the power to protect my baby brother and I have the power to do something about what happened to him. And that’s what my goal is to do. Just to show my little brother that, ‘Hey, I’m so sorry that I couldn’t protect you and be there for you at that time. But that’s how I introduce myself to you now.
According to the lawsuit, Spears and Haddish are charged with intentionally inflicting emotional distress, gross neglect, sexual assault, sexual harassment and sexual abuse of a minor. Haddish is further charged with negligent supervision/failure to warn, breach of fiduciary duty and constructive fraud.
The two alleged victims are the children of one of Haddish’s former friends. The siblings’ mother told The Daily Beast that she knew Haddish through the comedy scene, and the two women bonded through their shared experiences of difficult divorces. In 2013, Haddish informed the family that she had found a “perfect role” for their daughter, Jane Doe, in a commercial she was filming.
The lawsuit alleges Haddish and Spears brought Jane to a recording booth and asked her to watch a video showing a group of women eating a sandwich and “moaning and making sexual noises as they both ate the sandwich. in a way that simulated the act of fellatio”. .” Spears then allegedly asked the 14-year-old to mimic what she saw in the video. When this made Jane uncomfortable, she was quiet until Haddish came back into the room and repeated her request.
“Haddish verbally explained what was expected of plaintiff Jane Doe,” the lawsuit states. “And then showed applicant Jane Doe how to perform oral sex, including the movements, noises, moans and groans.”
“I tried to imitate what they wanted me to imitate, but it was still super uncomfortable,” Jane told The Daily Beast. “I knew when I left the pit that I hadn’t finished what they wanted me to do.”
Jane was paid $100 for the shoot, according to The Daily Beast, and has never spoken about the experience. A year later, Haddish contacted the mother to film another video with her seven-year-old son. The two children were again sent to a film shoot under the supervision of Haddish and Spears. The video in question ended up being a comedy skit titled “Through the Eyes of a Pedophile.”
The Daily Beast viewed the skit, which stars Haddish as the boy’s guardian who leaves him in the care of a pedophile played by Spears. The video is said to mostly feature the seven-year-old boy in his underwear or naked as Spears pretends to stare at him in a creepy fashion. At one point, the camera zooms in on John Doe’s crotch. The video ends with the text “WATCH WHO YOU LEAVE YOUR KIDS WITH! »
The lawsuit says that at the end of filming, “Mr. Doe called his mother crying, saying he didn’t want to film anymore.
The video was posted on several online platforms, including FunnyOrDie.com’s user-generated content section. In a statement provided to The Daily Beast, a representative for Funny or Die said the site found the video “absolutely disgusting… We were not involved in the conceptualization, development, funding or production of this video. . It was uploaded to the site as user-generated content and was removed in 2018 immediately upon becoming aware of its existence.
Jane Doe, who attended filming but was asked to stay in the basement, told The Daily Beast she remembered seeing her brother crying when filming ended.
“When it happened, the only thing I could feel was how I felt in my video with Tiffany,” Jane said. “I didn’t know at the time if anything had happened with him like [what had] happened to me, but I just felt like something was wrong at the time.
The mother contacted Haddish when she saw her son’s reaction, but the comedian offered little information about the incident.
“[Haddish] said something like, ‘I don’t think acting is for him,’” she told the publication. “And I’m like… What do you mean by F, ‘acting isn’t for him?’ My son is crying. Like, what’s going on?
The mother said she spent a week trying to get the footage from Spears and Haddish. She said she was never aware of what was filmed until an article describing the lewd sketch was published on the gossip website Bossip four years later.
“To find out that she had violated such a sacred trust,” the mother said of Haddish. “I trusted him with my kids.”
Christian Blauvelt contributed to this report.
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