Comedians Tiffany Haddish and Aries Spears accused of child sexual abuse

Comedians Tiffany Haddish and Aries Spears accused of child sexual abuse

Comedians Tiffany Haddish and Aries Spears have been accused of child sexual abuse.

In a lawsuit filed at the Los Angeles Superior Court on Tuesday (30 August), a 22-year-old woman with the pseudonym Jane Doe alleged that the two comedians forced her and her 15-year-old brother –pseudonym John Doe – separately to perform inappropriate acts on camera when they were both minors.

According to the lawsuit obtained by Entertainment Weekly, Doe has accused Haddish and Spears of “intentional infliction of emotional distress, gross negligence, sexual battery, sexual harassment, and sexual abuse of a minor”.

Haddish is also being accused of “negligent supervision/failure to warn, breach of fiduciary duty, and constructive fraud”.

The complaint detailed two separate incidents where Haddish and Spears allegedly encouraged the siblings to perform sexually suggestive acts on camera while underage.

According to the report, Jane was 14 years old when she was harassed, and John was seven.

Representatives for Haddish and Spears denied the allegations in separate statements on Thursday (1 September).

Haddish’s attorney Andrew Brettler said in a statement that the plaintiff’s mother “has been trying to assert these bogus claims against 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 Haddish would not be shaken down. Now, [the plaintiff’s mother] has her adult daughter representing herself in this lawsuit. The two of them will together face the consequences of pursuing this frivolous action.”

Tiffany Haddish signs copies of her book,
Tiffany Haddish signs copies of her book,

Spears’ attorney Debra Opri added that her client “isn’t going to fall for any shakedown”.

According to the lawsuit, Jane and John filmed a sketch with Haddish and Spears in 2013 and 2014 respectively. The siblings reportedly met Haddish when they were younger and used to call her “Aunty Tiff”.

Jane claimed Haddish recruited her to film a commercial when she attended a comedy camp where Haddish was a guest speaker.

According to the legal documents, Haddish and Spears allegedly had Jane watch a video in which a man and woman shared a sandwich in “a manner that simulated the act of fellatio” while “moaning and making sexual noises”.

Spears then allegedly told Jane “to mimic what she had seen on the screen, including the noises precisely like what she heard throughout the video”.

The complaint said Jane recalled feeling “nervous and disgusted” at that time, adding that “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”.

Aries Spears co-hosts the 2020 Adult Video News Awards 2020 (Getty Images)
Aries Spears co-hosts the 2020 Adult Video News Awards 2020 (Getty Images)

The lawsuit also mentioned that the comedians recruited John a year later for another video which was apparently posted on the website Funny or Die under the title “Through a Pedophile’s Eyes”.

According to the complaint, Spears played a paedophile in the video, which included scenes of him massaging oil onto John’s back, among other sexually suggestive acts. The lawsuit claimed that after the shoot ended, “[John] called his mother crying, saying he did not want to film anymore”.

Jane “feels constant remorse knowing that she was only a few feet away when Spears was molesting her 7-year-old little brother in the other room,” the complaint stated.

The Independent has contacted Spears and Haddish’s representatives for comment.

A representative for Funny or Die told The Daily Beast in a statement that they “found this video absolutely disgusting and would never produce such content”.

“We were not involved with the conceptualisation, 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.”

If you’re worried about a child, even if you’re unsure, you can contact professional counsellors at the NSPCC for help, advice and support by emailing or calling 0808 800 5000. For those 18 or under, Childline offers free, confidential advice and support whatever your worry, whenever you need help. Call 0800 1111 or Contact Childline.