*Tiffany Haddish is breaking her silence about the disturbing “Funny or Die” sketch she created with fellow comedian Aries Spears that is now at the center of a child abuse lawsuit.
We reported previously that the lawsuit obtained by TMZ alleges that child sexual abuse was filmed as part of a sexually suggestive “Funny or Die” sketch. The suit identifies two defendants as Jane and John Doe. Haddish is accused of coercing the girl, who was age 14 at the time, into starring in the video. The alleged victim claims the comedian taught her how to imitate performing fellatio.
Jane Doe, who is now 22 years old, claims her younger brother, who was age 7 at the time the skit was filmed, was also molested by Haddish and Spears. The child was used for a sketch titled “Through a Pedophile’s Eyes,” video of which is circulating on social media.
The two defendants claim to be suffering from social disorders related to their experience with the two stars.
As reported by PEOPLE, last week, Jane Doe sued Haddish and Spears in California’s Superior Court for Los Angeles County on behalf of herself and her minor brother. In the documents, Haddish is accused of grooming the plaintiffs, leaving them “traumatized for life.”
In a statement on Instagram, Haddish wrote, “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.”
She also noted that “while this sketch was intended to be comedic, it wasn’t funny at all – and I deeply regret having agreed to act in it. I really look forward to being able to share a lot more about this situation as soon as I can.” According to the court documents, Haddish was a “longtime family friend” of the mother of the two plaintiffs. In the lawsuit, she is accused you taking Jane Doe to the taping of a “sexually suggestive Subways commercial” in 2013, where she allegedly instructed the child on how to “perform sex acts after watching a man and woman in a video,” per PEOPLE.
Here’s more from the report:
Per the filing, plaintiff John Doe was allegedly 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 plaintiffs’ court documents claim Haddish witnessed the alleged incident “and aided, abetted and watched Spears sexually molest a child.”
John Doe said in a statement that Spears and Haddish gave him a drink that made him sleepy and “happy face candy.” Haddish also allegedly paid the siblings $100, he said.
According to the lawsuit, “There was no parent or guardian present,” during the alleged grooming sessions.
Haddish and Spears, per PEOPLE, “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 negligence supervision/failure to warn, breach of fiduciary duty and constructive fraud,” the outlet writes.
In a statement to TMZ, “Funny or Die” denies having any involvement in creating the sketch, saying: “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.”
Haddish’s attorney Andrew Brettler claims the lawsuit is an extortion attempt.
“Plaintiff’s mother, Trizah Morris, has been trying to assert these bogus claims against Ms. Haddish for several years,” Brettler said in a statement sent to Complex. “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.”