Tiffany Haddish and Aries Spears have been named in a lawsuit accusing them of abusing and exploiting two children in the past.
The lawsuit, filed in Los Angeles on Tuesday, accuses the pair of “intentional infliction of emotional distress, gross negligence, sexual battery, sexual harassment, and sexual abuse of a minor”
According to The Daily Beast, 22-year-old Jane Doe and her 15-year-old brother John Doe, accuse Haddish and Spears of making them perform “sexually suggestive acts on camera while underage” and unable to understand the adult situations they were placed in.
Jane, who is John’s legal guardian, filed the lawsuit on Tuesday against Haddish and Spears on her brother’s behalf.
The incidents allegedly occurred when the children were 14 and 7 years old in 2013 and 2014.
Haddish, 42, starred as Nekeisha Williams on the NBC sitcom The Carmichael Show (2015–2017). She rose to stardom in 2017 with a breakout role in the comedy film Girls Trip, which earned her two Critics’ Choice Awards nominations.
Aries Spears, 47, is pictured with his estranged wife Elisa Larregui in 2018.
He is best known as a regular on Fox’s sketch comedy series MADtv. He recently made headlines after he fat-shamed pop singer Lizzo.
Haddish and Spears met Jane and John Doe through their mother, whom they met on the comedy circuit.
In the summer of 2013, Jane, who was 14 years old, attended a comedy camp where Haddish was a guest speaker.
Haddish allegedly told the girl that she’d found “a perfect role for her” in a television commercial.
Haddish reportedly invited the girl to a recording studio where Spears allegedly instructed Jane to watch a video clip of college girls eating a Subway sandwich while moaning and groaning sensually.
Aries instructed the girl to eat a Subway sandwich with him from opposite ends of the sandwich while “moaning and making sexual noises … in a manner that simulated the act of fellatio,” according to the lawsuit.
At some point, Haddish entered the room and sat down next to Jane. Haddish was annoyed with Jane’s performance and told her in specific detail how to simulate fellatio on the Subway sandwich.
Jane said she was “physically, emotionally, and mentally uncomfortable” while hearing these instructions from adults.
Haddish allegedly paid Jane $100 and sent her home.
A year later, in 2014, Haddish reportedly approached the mother about 7-year-old John appearing in a “sizzle reel” video that she would submit to Nickelodeon for the boy.
Instead, Haddish and Spears filmed two videos with John, including one titled “Through a Pedophile’s Eyes,” in which Haddish plays the boy’s mother and Spears portrayed a pedophile.
According to The Daily Beast, which viewed part of the video, the boy spends most of the video in his underwear while Spears molested the child throughout the video.
When John’s mother asked to see the footage, Spears explained that it wasn’t edited yet. Haddish later told the mother that the video had been deleted.
Actually, the video titled “Through a Pedophile’s Eyes” was uploaded to “Funny or Die” in the site’s “user-generated content” section where it remained until Funny Or Die removed the video in 2018.
In a statement to TMZ, the comedy website wrote:
“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.”
In 2019, the children’s mother negotiated a settlement with Spears over the video.
The settlement did not involve Haddish, and the proceeds from the settlement were not shared with the young victims – who are now pursuing their own legal action.
The settlement does not bind Jane or John from pursuing legal action against Haddish.
John, who is 15, reportedly stays in his bedroom all day. He tapes over the cameras on his electronics because he is fearful of being recorded.
Jane’s lawsuit seeks “general and special damages, as well as ‘any appropriate statutory damages.'”
Haddish’s attorney, Andrew Brettler, described the lawsuit as “frivolous” and “bogus”.
“[The plaintiff’s mother] has been trying to assert these bogus claims against Ms. Haddish for several years… 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.”