Tiffany Haddish and fellow comedian Aries Spears are defendants in a lawsuit claiming they groomed and molested two siblings.
Tiffany Haddish and Aries Spears are named defendants in a lawsuit brought forward by an anonymous female plaintiff Jane Doe who claims the comedians groomed her and her brother, an anonymous male plaintiff John Doe, to perform sexual acts when they were children, but Haddish's attorney vehemently denies the allegations.
In a statement to ET, Haddish's attorney, Andrew B. Brettler, said the lawsuit is "frivolous."
"Plaintiff's mother, Trizah Morris, has been trying to assert these bogus claims against Ms. Haddish for several years," the statement read. "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, Ms. Morris has her adult daughter representing herself in this lawsuit. The two of them will together face the consequences of pursuing this frivolous action."
Spears' attorney, Debra Opri, also tells ET, "He isn't going to fall for any shakedown."
According to The Daily Beast, which first broke the news and obtained the legal documents, the female plaintiff, 22, says she and the male plaintiff, 15, were 14 and 7, respectively, at the time of the alleged sexual abuse. The female plaintiff claims Haddish recruited her after she attended a comedy camp where the comedian was a guest speaker.
According to the lawsuit, the female plaintiff claims "Haddish verbally explained what was expected of Plaintiff Jane Doe and then showed Plaintiff Jane Doe how to give fellatio, including movements, noises, moaning, and groaning." The lawsuit further claims that Spears looked on while she was "physically, emotionally, and mentally uncomfortable" while receiving Haddish's direction.
The female plaintiff told The Daily Beast that she "tried to mimic what they wanted me to mimic, but it still came out just super uncomfortable." She further claimed that Haddish paid her $100 before sending her home in the summer of 2013.
A year later, the female plaintiff claims in the lawsuit that Haddish approached their mother and pitched the idea of having the male plaintiff appear in a sizzle reel for Nickelodeon. Instead, the suit claims, the male plaintiff wound up starring in a video posted on Funny or Die under the title "Through a Pedophile's Eyes."
The Daily Beast reports that both siblings allegedly attended the video shoot, which the lawsuit claims took place at Spears' home. The female plaintiff claims once they got to Spears' home, they were separated -- she stayed on the couch downstairs while the male plaintiff was taken upstairs. The Daily Beast reports it reviewed a recording of the video, in which Haddish plays the boy's guardian and leaves him with Spears, playing the role of a pedophile.
The outlet reports that the male plaintiff spends the majority of the time in his underwear, as Spears, allegedly in character, pretends to read a newspaper that has two holes cut into it, allowing Spears' character to ogle the boy through the holes. According to The Daily Beast, the camera at one point zooms into the boy's buttocks and crotch while he plays. The outlet claims Spears then sprayed baby oil onto John's back and massages it into his shoulders. In another scene, the outlet reports the video purports to show the boy playing with a train in a manner that suggests phallic masturbation.
When the video ends, the outlet reports the final line of the on-screen text reads, "WATCH WHO YOU LEAVE YOUR KIDS WITH!"
Jane claimed to The Daily Beast that when the male plaintiff came back downstairs he was "red in the face, crying his eyes out, just bawling out in tears. And I'm immediately scared, because I don't know what happened to him."
When reached for comment, a rep for Funny or Die told The Daily Beast that "Funny or Die found this video absolutely disgusting and would never produce such content." The statement added, "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 comedians are being sued for intentional infliction of emotional distress, gross negligence, sexual battery, sexual harassment and sexual abuse of a minor. Haddish is also sued for negligent supervision/failure to warn, breach of fiduciary duty and constructive fraud.
The female plaintiff and the male plaintiff, who claim to still be traumatized over the alleged acts, seek general and special damages.