Tiffany Haddish has broken her silence on child sexual abuse allegations.
Last week, the Girls Trip actress and comedian Aries Spears were hit with a lawsuit in which they were accused of grooming a 14-year-old girl and her seven-year-old brother back in 2013.
The siblings, now aged 22 and 14, were identified as anonymous pseudonyms Jane Doe and John Doe in court documents filed in Los Angeles.
Taking to Instagram on Monday, Haddish issued a statement in which she acknowledged that her fans have many questions about the lawsuit.
“I know people have a bunch of questions. I get it. I’m right there with you,” she began. “Unfortunately, because there is an ongoing legal case, there’s very little that I can say right now.”
Jane, who is acting individually and on behalf of her younger brother, alleged she was enlisted by Haddish for a commercial which involved them performing sexually suggestive content.
One year later, the star allegedly reached out to the siblings’ mother to hire John for a Nickelodeon sizzle reel. The suit claimed that the then-seven-year-old was molested by Haddish and Spears for a skit posted on Funny or Die titled Through a Pedophile’s Eyes.
In her statement, Haddish went on to note that the sketch “wasn’t funny at all”.
“But, 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,” the 42-year-old continued. “I really look forward to being able to share a lot more about this situation as soon as I can.”
According to the suit, neither Jane nor her mother was aware of the commercial’s plot, but Haddish and Spears were.
The comedians are being sued for intentional infliction of emotional distress, gross negligence, sexual battery, sexual harassment, and sexual abuse of a minor. The accusers seek a reward for “past, present, and future general damages”.
In a statement, Haddish’s lawyer, Andrew Brettler, called the legal action a “shakedown”.
“Every attorney who has initially taken on her 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,” he commented.