Thursday, February 29

‘Arrest and Prosecute’ Tiffany Haddish, Aries Spears, accuser urges



A woman who has accused Tiffany Haddish and Aries Spears of grooming her and her younger brother and coercing them into filming sexually explicit skits when they were children has urged the district attorney of Los Angeles to “arrest and prosecute” the comedians immediately.

The woman, identified only as Jane Doe, now 22, filed a lawsuit in Los Angeles Superior Court last Tuesday on behalf of her and her brother, identified only as John Doe, who was born in 2007, accusing Haddish and Spears of grooming and harassment .

The lawsuit alleges that Haddish and Spears coerced the siblings to take part in sexually explicit skits in separate incidents, which they said “stole the youth of a 7-year-old child and a 14-year-old child.”

“This matter’s breadth and complexity require your jurisdictional powers and resources to tackle and end the stream (of) depravity committed by Haddish and Spears,” Jane Doe wrote in a letter sent to Los Angeles County District Attorney George Gascón on Monday.

“My brother and I are prepared to speak with investigators and prosecutors from your office and provide you with irrefutable evidence that substantiates our allegations,” she said.

Haddish on Monday said in an Instagram post that she regretted having agreed to act in a sketch at the center of the lawsuit.

“I know people have a bunch of questions. I get it. I’m right there with you. Unfortunately, because there is an ongoing legal case, there’s very little that I can say right now,” Haddish, who starred in “Girls Trip,” said in the post.

“But, clearly, while the sketch was intended to be comedic, it wasn’t funny at all — and I deeply regret having agreed to act in it,” she said. “I really look forward to being able to share a lot more about this situation as soon as I can.”

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Attorneys for Haddish and Spears did not immediately respond to a request for comment on the letter to the Gascón’s office.

In a previous statement, Andrew Brettler, an attorney for Haddish, said the plaintiff’s mother had “been trying to assert these bogus claims against Ms. Haddish for several years.”

Brettler called the allegations “meritless,” dismissed the suit as a “frivolous action” and added that Haddish “would not be shaken down.”

In a separate statement, Debra Opri, an attorney for Spears, said Spears “isn’t going to fall for any shakedown.

The lawsuit alleges that one skit, filmed in 2013, involved Haddish teaching then-14-year-old Jane how to mimic fellatio.

The next year, 7-year-old John appeared in a sketch, which the lawsuit said was titled “Through A Pedophiles Eyes” and featured a character played by Spears who “reads at the child lustfully,” massages the boy and gets into a bathtub with him.

In most of the sketch’s scenes, the boy is stripped “down to his underwear,” according to the suit.

The lawsuit alleges that the plaintiff’s mother repeatedly asked Spears and Haddish about “what was filmed that made her son cry.”

In June 2018, four years later, Jane and John’s mother learned that the skit featuring her son had been published online, including on the Funny or Die digital platform, according to the suit.

“The mother, upset, stated that she would have never let her son participate in a pedophile child pornography skit,” the lawsuit alleged.

The news of the lawsuit was first reported by the Daily Beast.

In a statement, a spokesperson said Funny or Die “found this video absolutely disgusting and would never produce such content.”

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“We were not involved with 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 after becoming aware of its existence,” the spokesperson added.


Daniel Arkin contributed.


www.nbcnews.com

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