Comedians Tiffany Haddish, Aries Spears deny sexually exploiting minors amid lawsuit

The duo allegedly filmed a sketch with the plaintiffs for a comedy website.

September 6, 2022, 11:54 AM

Comedians Aries Spears and Tiffany Haddish are denying allegations they sexually abused two children during filming for an online comedy sketch.

The comedians were served with a lawsuit filed in Los Angeles last week by the plaintiffs, identified in the lawsuit as Jane and John Doe, who say they knew Haddish through their mother.

When Haddish was a guest speaker at the comedy camp Jane Doe attended, Haddish told then-14-year-old Jane Doe that she had the "perfect role for her" in the summer of 2013, according to the complaint.

Haddish told Jane Doe's mother a "redacted and completely minimal explanation of the skit," according to the suit.

When Jane Doe and Haddish went to a studio to film the skit, the lawsuit claims Jane Doe was shown a video of two adults "grotesquely shoving as much sandwich as they could into their mouths and getting toward each other's respective mouths. The two were moaning and making sexual noises as they both ate the sandwich in a manner that simulated" a sex act, according to the lawsuit.

PHOTO: Aries Spears performs at The Stress Factory Comedy Club, May 19, 2022, in New Brunswick, N.J. Tiffany Haddish attends the world premiere of "Easter Sunday," Aug. 2, 2022, at the TCL Chinese Theatre in Hollywood, Calif.
Aries Spears performs at The Stress Factory Comedy Club, May 19, 2022, in New Brunswick, N.J. Tiffany Haddish attends the world premiere of "Easter Sunday," Aug. 2, 2022, at the TCL Chinese Theatre in Hollywood, Calif.
Getty Images | AFP via Getty Images

Spears told Jane Doe to mimic what was seen and heard in the video, and Haddish advised her how to do it, the lawsuit alleges. Jane Doe says she did what they told her to "so she could go home."

The following year, the lawsuit claims Haddish offered to book, arrange and film an audition tape for then 7-year-old John Doe for a Nickelodeon acting job. At Spears' home, they allegedly stripped him down to his underwear for a video about the "mind of a pedophile.

According to the lawsuit, the video shows Spears "lusting" over the 7-year-old child and molesting him, as well as performing sexualized acts throughout the video. The complaint claims Haddish was present during the filming of the entire video.

John Doe called his mother crying after the filming, the lawsuit claims, saying he no longer wanted to film. The lawsuit claims the mother of the children reached out to Spears shortly after, wanting to see the footage.

Spears claimed he had not edited the footage and would get it to her when it was edited, the complaint alleges. A few days later, Spears allegedly said John Doe was uncooperative and the footage was unusable and deleted, the complaint alleges.

However, the video was showcased on the popular comedy website "Funny or Die."

The site told ABC News that the content appeared on its website as "user-generated content" and was removed in 2018 after the site became aware of its existence.

"Funny Or Die found this video absolutely disgusting and would never produce such content," the website said in a statement to ABC News. "We were not involved with the conceptualization, development, funding, or production of this video."

According to the complaint, the family was made aware of the video's existence due to a 2018 Bossip column on Spears' past controversies. The lawsuit claims the mother of Jane and John Doe tried to settle the issue with Spears in the past without proper legal representation.

The alleged settlement does not apply to the plaintiffs due to several legal issues including a lack of adequate representation for a minor in court, as well as the agreement was never presented to a superior court, the complaint states.

Haddish posted a new statement Monday on Instagram, saying: "I know people have a bunch of questions. I get it. I'm right there with you. Unfortunately, because there is an ongoing legal case, there's very little that I can say right now. 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."

She said she has "a lot more" to share about the situation.

Spears' publicists forwarded his attorney's statement on the allegations to ABC News, saying "He isn't going to fall for any shakedown."

Haddish's attorney's called the allegations "meritless."

The plaintiffs' mother "has been trying to assert these bogus claims against Ms. Haddish for several years," Haddish's attorneys told ABC News in a statement.

The statement from Haddish's attorneys continued, "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. Now, [the mother] has her adult daughter representing herself in this lawsuit. The two of them will together face the consequences of pursuing this frivolous action."