Accuser drops sexual abuse lawsuit against Haddish, Spears


Tiffany Haddish and Aries Spears are no longer facing a child sexual abuse lawsuit filed earlier this month, The Times has confirmed.

Weeks after the comedians’ reps dismissed the allegations as a “shakedown,” the woman who filed the suit against Haddish and Spears has dropped her claims. According to TMZ, new legal documents show that the unidentified plaintiff — listed as Jane Doe — requested that the judge dismiss the suit “with prejudice.”

“My family and I have known Tiffany Haddish for many years — and we now know that she would never harm me or my brother or help anyone else do anything that could harm us,” the plaintiff reportedly said in a statement, TMZ reported. “We wish Tiffany the best and are glad that we can all put this behind us.”

Representatives for Haddish and Spears did not immediately respond to The Times’ request for comment Tuesday.

On Sept. 1, the Daily Beast first reported the lawsuit, which claimed Haddish and Spears had assaulted a pair of siblings when they were 7 and 14. The suit alleged that Haddish (“Girls Trip”) and Spears (“MADtv”) “groomed” and “molested” the plaintiffs, and that some of the incidents were recorded on video. One video was uploaded to the website Funny or Die, which said it took down the “disgusting” clip in 2018 and that it wasn’t involved in its production.

At the center of the suit were two incidents involving each of the siblings, separately. Jane Doe alleged that in 2013, Spears and Haddish encouraged her to mimic the motions of fellatio for a skit. Jane Doe was 14 at the time. Then in 2014, a 7-year-old John Doe allegedly was stripped down to his underwear and filmed for another skit featuring both Haddish and Spears.

The now-dismissed suit also accused the comedians of gross negligence, sexual battery, sexual harassment and sexual abuse of a minor.

In response to the lawsuit, representatives for both Haddish and Spears dismissed the accusations.

“Plaintiff’s mother, Trizah Morris, has been trying to assert these bogus claims against Ms. Haddish for several years,” said Haddish’s attorney, Andrew Brettler, in a statement. “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.”

Brettler also said that Morris and her daughter “will together face the consequences of pursuing this frivolous action.”

Similarly, Spears’ attorney, Debra Opri, said the comedian wasn’t “going to fall for any shakedown.”

Days after the lawsuit was filed, Haddish said in an Instagram post that the sketch in question “wasn’t funny at all.”

“I deeply regret having agreed to act in it,” she said. “I really look forward to being able to share a lot more about this situation as soon as I can.”

During an episode of his podcast with Andy Steinberg earlier this month, Spears said that the lawsuit was an “extortion case.” He echoed his attorney’s sentiments, repeating that he “won’t be shaken down.”

The comedian called the accuser’s mother a “huge scammer” with a “history of … false accusations.”

“I’m having a bad week,” he said. “But it be what it be.”

Times staff writer Christi Carras contributed to this report.


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