In an Instagram post on Monday, Tiffany Haddish said she regretted agreeing to act in a skit six years ago that is now one of the focal points of a sexual misconduct lawsuit against her and her coworker. comedian Aries Spears.
“I know people have a lot of questions. I understand. I’m here with you. Unfortunately, because there’s an ongoing court case, there’s very little I can say at this time,” Haddish said in the post.
“But, clearly, while the skit was meant to be comedic, it wasn’t funny at all – and I deeply regret agreeing to do it,” the comedian and ‘Girls Trip’ actor added. “I really look forward to being able to share a lot more about this situation as soon as possible.”
Haddish and Spears have come under intense scrutiny after a woman and her younger brother accused them in a lawsuit of grooming them as children and coercing them into filming sexually explicit comedy sketches.
The lawsuit was filed in Los Angeles Superior Court last Tuesday by siblings identified as Jane Doe, now 22, and John Doe, born in 2007. Jane, who is John’s legal guardian, s is presented as the plaintiff in the lawsuit both individually and on behalf of her brother.
The lawsuit alleges that Haddish and Spears coerced the siblings as children into participating in sexually explicit skits that “robbed the youth of a 7-year-old and a 14-year-old.”
News of the trial was first reported by the Daily Beast.
The plaintiffs starred in the skits because their mother knew Haddish, but only Haddish and Spears knew the storylines in advance, according to the lawsuit.
The lawsuit alleges the first skit, filmed in 2013, involved Haddish teaching 14-year-old Jane how to imitate fellatio on a sandwich sub.
The following year, 7-year-old John appeared in a second skit, titled “Through A Pedophile’s Eyes”, featuring a character played by Spears who “lustfully lusts the child”, massages the boy and walks into a bathtub with him, according to the lawsuit.
In most scenes in the skit, the boy is stripped “down to his underwear”, depending on the costume.
The lawsuit alleged that the plaintiff’s mother repeatedly asked Spears and Haddish “what was filmed that made her son cry.”
Four years later, in June 2018, Jane and John’s mother learned that the sketch featuring her son had been published online, notably on the Funny or Die digital platform.
“The upset mother said she would never have let her son participate in a child pornography pedophile skit,” the lawsuit alleged.
In a statement, a spokesperson for Funny or Die said the platform “finds this video absolutely disgusting and will never produce such content.”
“We were not involved in 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 upon becoming aware of its existence,” the spokesperson added.
In a statement, Debra Opri, Spears’ attorney, said the comedian “will not fall for the trap.”
In a separate statement, Andrew Brettler, a lawyer for Haddish, said the complainant’s mother “has been trying to assert these false allegations against Ms Haddish for several years.”
Brettler called the allegations “baseless,” dismissed the lawsuit as a “frivolous action” and added that Haddish “wouldn’t be shaken.”
Jane Doe said she and her brother “are not surprised that Mr. Brettler is trying to distract from the legitimate claims made by my brother and I, to shift blame and attention to our mother who is not not a party to this lawsuit.”