An explosive new lawsuit accuses comedians Tiffany Haddish and Aries Spears, who’s most known for his 14-year stint on Mad TV, of sexually abusing two underage siblings while filming comedy sketches in 2013.
The suit, which was filed on Monday night, names “Jane Doe,” now 22, as the anonymous plaintiff, and her 14-year-old brother referred to as “John Doe.” Jane alleges that Haddish instructed her how to mimic fellatio when she was just 14, while her younger brother, who was 7 at the time, appeared in a video called “Through a Pedophile’s Eyes.” The disturbing details of that clip, described at length by the Daily Beast, reportedly involve a scene in which the boy was filmed nude in a bathtub.
The siblings, whose mother met the comedian through comedy circles, called Haddish their “Auntie Tiff,” and she referred to them as her “niece” and “nephew,” according to the Daily Beast. Both siblings say in the suit that they remain traumatized by the events, and Jane claims she’s developed a social disorder.
Andrew Brettler, Haddish’s attorney (who’s notably represented Prince Andrew, Chris Noth, and Armie Hammer), told Jezebel in an email that the lawsuit is “bogus. “Every attorney who has initially taken on [Jane Doe’s] 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,” Brettler wrote. “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.”
The lawsuit states that Jane was 14 during the summer of 2013 when she attended a comedy camp where she met Haddish, who told Jane she had a “perfect” commercial for her. Neither Jane nor her mother were provided further details. Haddish and Spears allegedly had Jane watch a clip of college kids arguing over a subway sandwich, but the clip soon turned into the coeds “moaning and making sexual noises as they both ate the sandwich in a manner that simulated the act of fellatio,” according to the lawsuit.
Jane then says that Spears told her “to mimic what she had seen on the screen, including the noises precisely like what she heard throughout the video.” Jane said she completed what was expected of her, and Haddish paid her $100.
A year later, Haddish recruited Jane and her then 7-year-old brother for the video “Through a Pedophile’s Eyes,” which was eventually posted on Funny or Die. The video has Haddish playing John’s legal guardian, while Spears plays the pedophile. In one scene, Spears reportedly massages John’s back with baby oil.
The website provided the Daily Beast with the following statement:
“Funny Or Die 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 states that John called his mom crying once the shoot ended, that Jane found her brother “crying his eyes out,” and that Spears would not allow their mother to see the footage.
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 additionally accused of breach of fiduciary duty, negligent supervision/failure to warn, and constructive fraud.
Spears’ manager and agent did not respond to Jezebel’s requests for comment.
The incidents appear to have been pretty traumatizing for children involved. John Doe included a statement in the complaint saying that the experience of filming the “Pedophile” sketch “fucked me up bad.”
“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,” he wrote. “I spend all of my time in my room and do not go anywhere because I don’t trust anybody.”