A new lawsuit accuses comedian Chris D’Elia of soliciting over one hundred sexually explicit photos and videos from a woman identified as “Jane Doe,” half of which were allegedly taken when Doe was only 17 years old. Doe, who is accusing D’Elia of violating federal child pornography and child sexual exploitation laws, is one of a number of women who have accused D’Elia of preying on them when they were only teenagers.
This lawsuit comes less than a year after several women took to Twitter to accuse D’Elia of sexual harassment, sexual assault, and grooming—a revelation that prompted hundreds of women to share stories of the negative experiences they’d had with the comedian.
“When I was in my final year of high school and still a child, I was groomed by a celebrity twice my age,” Doe said in a statement released Tuesday by her attorneys, Monica Beck and Chloe Neely of the Fierberg National Law Group. “Chris D’Elia abused his status and fame to lure me in, take advantage, and manipulate me when I was at a vulnerable age. I want any other girls out there to know that they are not alone, and it is time to get justice for the mental and physical toll he has put us through.”
The lawsuit alleges that the comedian, who was 34 at the time, “constructed a manipulative, controlling, and abusive dynamic in which he demanded Ms. Doe provide him sexually explicit images of herself over the internet, directed her what specific sexual poses and acts she should perform for him, and psychologically punished her when she refused.” Eventually, D’Elia allegedly persuaded Doe to attend one of his stand-up shows, during which Doe’s attorneys state that he “lured her to his hotel room ... separated her from her friends, and took advantage of her youth and inexperience to have sex with her.”
According to the lawsuit, D’Elia repeatedly asked Jane Doe how old she was and whether she was still in high school. “At the time, and subsequently, Mr. D’Elia expressed that Ms. Doe’s age, innocence, and virginity made the encounter ‘hot,’” said Doe’s attorneys.
D’Elia denies the accusations.