Comedian Tiffany Haddish is speaking out for the first time following accusations that she and fellow comedian Aries Spears “molested and groomed” two minors years ago.
“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,” the “Girls Trip” actress posted on Instagram.
“But, clearly, while this sketch was intended to be comedic, it wasn’t funny at all – and I deeply regret having agreed to act in it,” she continued. “I really look forward to being able to share a lot more about this situation as soon as I can.”
Last Tuesday, a 22-year-old woman identified as Jane Doe sued Haddish and Spears in California’s Superior Court for Los Angeles County on behalf of herself and a minor identified as John Doe, her younger brother, PEOPLE Magazine reported.
In court documents, ‘Jane Doe’ alleges that Haddish “groomed” the plaintiffs, leaving them “traumatized for life.”
According to the female, Haddish was a family friend of her mother.
Court documents obtained by the magazine claim that in 2013, when the plaintiff was 14, Haddish took her to the taping of a “sexually suggestive Subways commercial” that Haddish allegedly said would help Jane Doe get on television and would be included in the teenager’s film reel.
During the taping, the actress allegedly instructed the victim on how to perform inappropriate sex acts after watching a man and woman in a video.
Also in the filing, John Doe claims she was molested by Spears in 2014 after Haddish told him he would be taping a reel for Nickelodeon at Spears’ home. While there, Haddish allegedly told Jane Doe that she needed John Doe alone and took him to a room where Spears began “molesting” the then-7-year-old on film.
The lawsuit claims Haddish witnessed the alleged incident “and aided, abetted and watched Spears sexually molest a child.”
In a statement, John Doe claimed both comedians gave him a drink that made him sleepy, and “happy face candy.” He also claimed Haddish paid the siblings $100.
“The Plaintiffs were both minors and were incapable of consenting to participate in sexually graphic videos distributed and published via ‘Funny or Die’s’ platform,” the lawsuit states. “There was no parent or guardian present.”
Haddish and Spears are being sued for intentional infliction of emotional distress, gross negligence, sexual battery, sexual harassment and sexual abuse of a minor. Haddish is also being sued for negligence supervision/failure to warn, breach of fiduciary duty and constructive fraud.
In a statement to PEOPLE, Funny or Die said, “Funny Or Die found this video absolutely disgusting and would never produce such content. 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.”
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