The lawsuit against comedians Tiffany Haddish and Austin Spears has sent shockwaves through Hollywood as the two have been accused of child sexual abuse. They’re being sued by the alleged victims, an anonymous brother and sister, and while the accusers are apparently willing to talk settlement with Haddish, the two sides have come to an agreement that will seal some elements of the case from public view.
The original complaint, which includes several photographs of the alleged male victim, then 7-years-old, in his underwear as part of a skit he was in with Haddish and Spears, will remain under seal, so the photos will not be made available to the public.
According to Radar Online, a Federal court judge temporarily sealed the complaint due to the photographs of a minor in his underwear, and asked the two sides to come to an agreement on whether or not the complaint should remain sealed. Due to the fact that John Doe, the name being given to the alleged male victim, was a minor at the time, and still is, and that he could potentially be identified due to the photographs, it was decided to keep them sealed. Since both accusers are trying to remain anonymous, if somebody were able to ID the male victim, his sister’s identity would likewise become comprimised.
The lawsuit stems from a pair of incidents that allegedly took place in 2013. Tiffany Haddish and Austin Spears worked with the brother and sister, then 7 and 14 years of age, on a pair of comedy sketches. Haddish allegedly asked the girl to perform simulated sexual acts for one skit. Spears worked on camera with the boy playing the part of a pedophile. While both comedians deny any wrongdoing, Haddish has expressed regret in being involved in the skits.
The language from both sides has been quite pointed. Haddish’s lawyer called the lawsuit frivolous, saying that the mother of the alleged victims has attempted to sue multiple times over the years. Austin Spears called the case extortion. On the opposite side, Jane doe has asked for Haddish to be arrested and charged criminally, in addition to being sued.
Despite the harsh words from both sides, recent court documents have indicated both sides are willing to discuss mediation or some other form of settlement. Jane and John Doe have specific requirements for a settlement, however. They want Tiffany Haddish to publicly apologize as well as recant previous comments that the accuser’s mother had previously tried to shake down the actress.
Any other settlement terms are unknown, and any settlement would almost certainly remain just as sealed as this initial complaint. If a settlement is not reached, then it would seem things are headed to court, where some details will almost certainly become public.