The woman who accused comedians Tiffany Haddish and Aries Spears of sexually harassing and abusing her and her brother as children has filed to dismiss the lawsuit, according to documents from the U.S. District Court for the Central District of California obtained by The Washington Post.
The anonymous plaintiff, Jane Doe, who filed the lawsuit on Aug. 30 on behalf of her and her brother, John Doe, who is still a minor, requested Tuesday to dismiss the claim with prejudice, which means the case cannot be refiled.
In a statement to TMZ the same day, Jane, 22, said that her family had “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. We wish Tiffany the best and are glad that we can all put this behind us.” She did not mention Spears.
On Wednesday, Haddish told a TMZ photographer at Los Angeles International Airport that she was “relieved” by the dismissal. The actress, who said she does not speak to Spears, said her biggest concern throughout the process was “the kids, making sure they’re okay.”
When asked about what the lawsuit ending might mean for her career, Haddish told another TMZ photographer that she “lost everything” after the allegations came out, and that she did not know what the future held. “All my gigs gone,” she said. “Everything gone … I don’t have no job.”
Representatives for Haddish, Spears and the Does did not respond to requests for comment from The Post
Tiffany Haddish and Aries Spears accused of child sexual abuse
The lawsuit alleged that Haddish and Spears forced Jane to mimic a sexually suggestive video of two people eating a Subway sandwich while the then-14-year-old was attending a comedy camp in 2013. The lawsuit claimed Haddish “coached” the minor in “giving simulated fellatio” while Spears watched, and that the experience made Jane “physically, emotionally, and mentally uncomfortable.”
The lawsuit also alleged that Haddish and Spears coerced John, then 7, into filming an explicit sketch titled “Through A Pedophile’s Eyes,” during which, according to court documents, he said he was molested by Spears, who “lusted over him” in the video. Stills from the video, which were included in the lawsuit, show close-up shots of the child’s body and Spears touching John suggestively. The video appeared on the Funny or Die website afterward.
In a statement shared with The Post after the lawsuit was filed, Funny or Die wrote that the company “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.”
The lawsuit claimed the siblings were told that appearing in these skits would help them get roles on television. Spears, a stand-up comedian, is best known for his run from 1997 to 2005 on the Fox sketch comedy show “MADtv.” Haddish, who was a regular on “The Carmichael Show” and has appeared in movies such as “Keanu,” became famous for her breakout role in the 2017 movie “Girls Trip.” Court documents claimed that when the plaintiff saw Haddish partake in a similar, simulated oral sex scene in “Girls Trip,” it “unlocked a repressed memory” and led her to realize “the severity of what happened to her.”
A few days after the August court filing, Haddish expressed remorse in a post on Instagram. “Clearly while this sketch was intended to be comedic, it wasn’t funny at all, and I deeply regret having agreed to act in it,” she wrote. After news of the dismissal Tuesday, Spears celebrated on Instagram in a post that also promoted one of his podcast episodes.
Razzan Nakhlawi contributed to this report.