Comedians Tiffany Haddish and Aries Spears are being prosecuted after being accused of child sex abuse.
According to a lawsuit filed Tuesday in Los Angeles Superior Court, the actors allegedly assaulted two siblings — named John Doe and Jane Doe in the filing — when they were 7 and 14 years old. The Daily Beast first reported on trial Thursday.
The lawsuit alleges that Haddish (“Girls Trip”) and Spears (“MADtv”) “groomed” and “molested” the plaintiffs, and that some of the incidents were videotaped. However, Haddish’s attorney, Andrew Brettler, denied the charges.
“The plaintiff’s mother, Trizah Morris, has been trying to assert these false allegations against Ms. Haddish for several years,” he said in a statement to The Times. “All of the lawyers who initially took on her case – and there were several – eventually dropped the case once it became clear that the claims were without merit and that Ms Haddish would not be moved.
“Now Ms. Morris has her adult daughter representing herself in this lawsuit. The two will face the consequences of pursuing this frivolous action together.”
When reached by The Times on Thursday, a lawyer for Spears, Debra Opri, replied, “He’s not going to fall for the trap.”
At the center of the suit are two incidents involving each of the siblings, separately. Jane Doe alleged that in 2013, Spears and Haddish encouraged her to imitate fellatio movements for a skit. Jane Doe was 14 at the time. Then in 2014, 7-year-old John Doe was reportedly stripped and filmed for another skit featuring Haddish and Spears.
“I don’t trust anyone, I’m scared of adults, I refuse to be recorded or take pictures because I’m scared… of adults trying to do mean things to me again,” John Doe told the Daily Beast. “I spend all my time in my room and I don’t go anywhere because I don’t trust anyone.”
As a “longtime family friend” of the siblings’ mother, Haddish regularly visited the plaintiffs’ home, according to the lawsuit. The siblings also claim Haddish took John Doe to Spears’ home, where he was allegedly assaulted by the comedian.
“The assault video was uploaded and posted to the ‘Funny or Die’ website in 2014 and was not removed from the internet until May 2021,” the filing said. funny or die told TMZ on Thursday that he had no part in the video.
“Funny Or Die found this video absolutely disgusting and would never produce such content,” its statement read. “It was uploaded to the site as user-generated content and was removed in 2018 immediately upon becoming aware of its existence.”
According to the 31-page lawsuit, Jane Doe’s 2013 interaction with Spears and Haddish allegedly involved her copying the actions of a video where a man and woman ate a sandwich while “moaning and making sexual noises in a manner “that simulated the act of fellatio.” Haddish allegedly showed Jane Doe “how to perform oral sex, including the movements, noises, moans and groans”.
Jane Doe also reportedly appeared in a “sexually suggestive” video.
The 2014 skit involving John Doe was meant to be a reel intended to help him land a gig at Nickelodeon, according to the lawsuit.
In the skit – titled ‘Through the Eyes of a Pedophile’, according to the costume – Spears was seen ‘coveting the 7-year-old’ who was in her underwear while Haddish was not present on the screen.
“After filming, Mr. Doe called his mother crying, saying he didn’t want to film anymore,” the suit reads.
The plaintiff’s mother contacted Spears on several occasions to request the footage. Spears reportedly said he hadn’t finished editing the video, but claimed “the footage was unusable” and deleted it. Haddish said she didn’t have a copy.
In 2018, the children’s mother attempted a $15,000 settlement with Spears, but failed.
In the new lawsuit, John Doe and Jane Doe accuse Haddish and Spears of gross negligence, sexual assault, sexual harassment and child molestation. They seek an award, the amount of which is to be determined at trial, for “past, present and future general damages”.
This story originally appeared in Los Angeles Times.