A lawsuit has been filed againstTiffany Haddish and Aries Spears by siblings who allege the comedians groomed and sexually abused them when they were minors. In response, reps for the comedians dubbed the lawsuit a “shakedown” with “bogus” allegations. More inside…
WARNING! This article could potentially trigger sexual abuse/assault survivors.
Disturbing allegations are being made in a new lawsuit filed against comedians Tiffany Haddishand AriesSpears which allegedly involve minors performing sexually suggestive acts in a “pedophile skit” they were shooting.
According to The Daily Beast, siblings Jane and John Doe - who were 14 and 7 at the time of the alleged incidents - claim Tiffany and Aries tricked them into performing sexually suggestive acts on camera while underage, which has traumatized them for life. The siblings are 22 and 15-years of age now.
So here’s what allegedly happened….
About eight years ago, Jane and John Doe’s mother met Tiffany Haddish through the comedy circuit where they bonded over their messy divorces from their husbands at the time.
“We were both going through a divorce,” the mother told The Daily Beast. “Messy, messy, messy, messy divorces… We just got really, really super, super close.”
The mom and Tiffany got so close, Tiffany would refer to the siblings as her niece and nephew, calling them on birthdays and Christmas to check-in to see how they were doing.
In the summer of 2013, Tiffany suggested she found the “perfect role” for Jane Doe, which she described as her own commercial, according to the lawsuit. At the time, Jane nor her mother knew what the shoot would entail. All they knew was that Tiffany and Aries were producing the video.
The Daily Beast reports:
The complaint claims that Spears told Jane “to mimic what she had seen on the screen, including the noises precisely like what she heard throughout the video.” The 14-year-old, who was allegedly “nervous and disgusted,” fell silent until Haddish returned to the room, the lawsuit claims. “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,” the lawsuit states. “At that point,” Jane told The Daily Beast, “I knew a hundred percent what they wanted out of me.” The lawsuit describes Spears allegedly looking on while a “physically, emotionally, and mentally uncomfortable” Jane received this instruction.
“I tried to mimic what they wanted me to mimic, but it still came out just super uncomfortable,” Jane told the Daily Beast. “I knew when I left the booth that I didn’t complete what they wanted me to do.” Haddish paid Jane $100, the lawsuit claims, before sending her home.
At the time, Jane said, she tried to shrug off what had happened. “I didn’t confide to my mom—I didn’t confide to nobody else about how weird I felt at that moment,” she said.
A year later, it is said that Tiffany hit the mom up again with a similar pitch, requesting Jane’s little brother, John, to act in the video. According to the lawsuit, Tiffany told the mom and son that they were filming a sizzle reel for Nickelodeon. However, the minor child ended up in a video titled “Through a Pedophile’s Eyes,” which was posted on Funny or Die, as well as other online platforms. Funny or Die says they eventually removed the video due to it being so disgusting.
The shoot was shot at Aries’ home where both siblings were in attendance, sans their mother. In the lawsuit, Jane describes how Tiffany’s demeanor changed after they were no longer in the company of their mother.
“It was like a whole 180 almost,” she told The Daily Beast. “Tiffany had never been mean to me—never raised her voice to me—until this point.”
For the shoot, the children were allegedly separated. Jane said Tiffany told her to remain on a couch downstairs while her brother went upstairs to film.
In the disturbing clip, the Girls Trip actress stars as the boy’s guardian who asks Aries’ character - who is a pedophile - to watch him while she runs errands.
The disturbing video exists and is online currently, but we will NOT be sharing it, especially since the minor child’s face is shown in the video. We tried to watch the clip, but we had to turn it off because it was so cringey and problematic.
Here’s The Daily Beast’s description of the entire clip below:
John spends most of the video clad only in his underwear as Spears’ character leers at him through two holes cut into a newspaper he pretends to read. During the sketch, the camera zooms in suggestively on the 7-year-old’s buttocks and crotch while he plays. Spears sprays baby oil onto the child’s back and massages it into his shoulders in one scene, and at another point the child plays with a train in a manner that suggests phallic masturbation. In another sequence, Spears smokes a cigarette while observing the child nude in a bathtub and pours water on his feet.
By the time the video ends, the child is peering at his babysitter through a newspaper and rubbing baby oil on his shirtless shoulder. The final line of on-screen text reads: “WATCH WHO YOU LEAVE YOUR KIDS WITH!”
The Daily Beast left out the part where the young boy is seen rubbing oil on Aries’ body as he sits in a chair wearing nothing but his underwear. Also, R. Kelly's"Bump & Grind" track played whenever Aries would stare at the young boy. Gross.
After the shoot, John Doe called his mom crying, saying “he did not want to film anymore,” according to the suit. Jane Doe said after seeing her brother’s face following the shoot, she “immediately scared, because I don’t know what happened to him.”
“When that happened, the only thing I could feel was how I felt in my video with Tiffany,” Jane added later. “I didn’t know at the time if anything happened with him like [what had] happened to me, but I just felt like something wasn’t right with that moment.”
When the mom asked Tiffany what was going on, she wasn’t able to get a clear answer.
“She said something to the effect of, ‘I don’t think acting is for him,’” the mother recalled.“And I’m like... What the F you mean, acting isn’t for him? My son is crying. Like, what is going on?”
Over the next week after the shoot, the mom allegedly contacted Aries to request to see the footage of her son. She said he allegedly kept repeating that it had not yet been edited. Then, he allegedly claimed John had been so uncooperative that his footage had been deemed unusable and subsequently deleted.
“All the trauma, all the memories, all the anxiety and depression and guilt and shame and fear—I feel like all of those emotions were triggered when this video situation came to a head,” the mom said. “To find out that she had violated such a sacred trust—I trusted her with my children—that is what pushed me over the edge.”
Maintaining their innocence in the matter, Funny or Die told The Daily Beast they had NOTHING to do with the production of the video and that they immediately took it down once they were aware it existed.
“Funny Or Die found this video absolutely disgusting and would never produce such content,” a rep for Funny or Die said in a statement. “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.”
Both Jane and John claim they live with the trauma of what they endured where they now struggle to trust people and both have developed social disorders that prevents them from living normal lives.
“I don’t date guys. I don’t have sex,” Jane revealed. “I’m not your regular 22-year-old who is partying, having fun and hooking up and stuff.” Her little brother, meanwhile, allegedly places Band-Aids over the cameras on all of his electronics due to an ongoing fear of being watched and recorded.
According to The Daily Beast, Jane is now John’s guardian due to a series of traumatic personal issues that impacted their mother’s mental and physical health.
“I don’t got no friends,” John wrote in the complaint. “I don’t trust nobody, I’m scared of adults, I refuse to be recorded or take pictures because I am scared of weird-ass adults trying to do nasty stuff to me again. I spend all of my time in my room and do not go anywhere because I don’t trust anybody.”
He continued, “I had to kick and scream and cry, and Tiffany came and told me to let him touch me. When I kept crying, Tiffany got mad at me, told me to get dressed, and took me home. I remember her yelling at me in the car, telling me that I would never get on tv acting like that.”
“I know now that they are f*cked up for what they did to me,” the 14-year-old’s statement concluded, “and none of this is my fault.”
It’s reported the siblings’ mother negotiated a settlement in 2019 with Aries, however, that agreement allegedly does not bind Tiffany.
In the settlement document, which The Daily Beast has reviewed, Spears “denies the validity of the Claims” regarding the video’s production and distribution but agrees “to stop the distribution, exhibition and further use of the Video.” The document names Spears, the siblings’ mother, and John; Jane does not appear. The siblings’ mother also filed a police report against Spears and Haddish in January of 2020 but nothing apparently came of it. The Daily Beast has reviewed a copy of the report.
“As an adult, I have the power to protect my little brother now and have the power to do something about what happened to him,” Jane said. “And that’s what my goal is to get done. Just to show my little brother that, hey, I’m so sorry I wasn’t able to protect you and be there for you then. But this is how I’m showing up for you now.”
The lawsuit lists eight causes of action. Spears and Haddish are both accused of intentional infliction of emotional distress, gross negligence, sexual battery, sexual harassment, and sexual abuse of a minor. Haddish is further accused of negligent supervision/failure to warn, breach of fiduciary duty, and constructive fraud. The lawsuit seeks general and special damages, as well as “any appropriate statutory damages.”
Following the publication of the article, Tiffany Haddish had her lawyer respond to the allegations.
Andrew Brettler, an attorney representing the Night School actress, issued a statement to TMZ on her behalf saying that the plaintiff’s mother “has been trying to assert these bogus claims against Ms. 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 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,” he continued.
Aries’ lawyer also told PEOPLE that he "isn't going to fall for any shakedown."
TMZ and other publications released the name of the mother, but we will not be sharing that information in an effort to protect the victims.