Comedians Tiffany Haddish and Aries Spears have been accused of child sexual abuse in a new lawsuit filed this week.
In the lawsuit, obtained by BuzzFeed News and first reported by the Daily Beast on Thursday, two anonymous plaintiffs accuse the comedians of recruiting them to perform indecent acts of a sexual nature for comedy sketches that were filmed in 2013 and 2014.
The plaintiffs, named in the lawsuit as John and Jane Doe, were 7 and 14 years old, respectively, at the time of the alleged incidents.
The suit cites eight complaints against Haddish and Spears, namely intentional infliction of emotional distress, gross negligence, negligent supervision, breach of fiduciary duty, constructive fraud, sexual battery, sexual harassment, and sexual abuse of a minor.
In response to the lawsuit, Haddish's attorney, Andrew Brettler, denied the allegations in a statement to BuzzFeed News.
“Plaintiff’s mother … has been trying to assert these bogus claims against Ms. Haddish for several years. Every attorney who has initially taken on her case — and there were several — ultimately dropped the matter once it became clear that the claims were meritless and Ms. Haddish would not be shaken down. Now, [the mother] has her adult daughter representing herself in this lawsuit. The two of them will together face the consequences of pursuing this frivolous action.”
(BuzzFeed News is not publishing the name of the mother to protect the privacy of the plaintiffs.)
The two alleged victims are the children of one of Haddish's former friends, according to the lawsuit.
The complaint alleges that Haddish brought Jane Doe to a Hollywood studio to film a "sexually suggestive" video in which the comedians asked her to watch a video featuring a group of women eating a sandwich and "moaning and making sexual noises as they both ate the sandwich in a manner that simulated the act of fellatio."
The plaintiff alleges that Spears then told Jane Doe that he wanted her to mimic what she had seen on the screen, "including the noises precisely like what she had heard throughout the video." Haddish then allegedly showed Jane Doe how to give fellatio "including movements, noises, moaning and groaning."
"Haddish forced a 14-year-old victim to perform simulated fellatio to record commercial sex acts and the production of child pornography," the lawsuit states.
When the scene was over, the plaintiff alleges that Haddish paid her $100 and sent her home. The plaintiff never spoke out about the experience.
A year later, in 2014, Haddish reached out to the mother about filming another video, this time with her 7-year-old son, John Doe. The video was a comedy sketch titled "Through a Pedophile's Eyes."
The lawsuit alleges John was stripped "down to his underwear" and that the video shows Spears "lusting over the 7-year-old child and molesting him throughout the video." The plaintiffs also allege that Haddish was present during the filming of the video.
Once filming ended, the lawsuit states, John "called his mother crying, saying he did not want to film anymore."
The mother said that she was never aware of what had been filmed until four years later in 2018 when she received an alert from celebrity news site Bossip, which referenced the video, "Mind of a Pedophile," that featured John.
Initially, the lawsuit alleges, Haddish denied knowledge of the video, but then said the footage was just "dark comedy."
Jane Doe, now 22, claims that the trauma from the incident has prevented her from dating because "she is scared that she will be taken advantage of and led down a path of false trust," the lawsuit states.
As for John, the lawsuit claims that he has "developed a social disorder, depression and anxiety," and that he lives in fear of being watched and recorded.
The lawsuit also alleges that in July 2018, the mother of the plaintiffs attempted to engage in a settlement with Spears concerning the video of John. The settlement, according to the lawsuit, stated that in exchange for $15,000, John's mother was to "indemnify or settle out with Spears for what he did to Mr. Doe."
The plaintiffs are alleging that the settlement agreement "has no binding legal effect," as Haddish was not identified as a party. The complaint alleges that Haddish "insinuated she wanted no part of the Spears settlement agreement via text."
The complaint also alleges that the siblings had no guardian present to represent their interests as minors at the time.
The plaintiffs are pursuing damages and have submitted a demand for a jury trial.