Tiffany Haddish has spoken out in response to the child sexual abuse lawsuit that was filed against her and comedian Aries Spears.
“I know people have a bunch of questions. I get it. I’m right there with you,” Haddish wrote on Instagram. “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. I really look forward to being able to share a lot more about this situation as soon as I can.”
Filed last week by an anonymous woman, the lawsuit alleges that Haddish and Spears exploited Jane Doe, now 22, and her brother John Doe, now 14, in two comedy sketches filmed when they were children.
In one clip titled “Through a Pedophile’s Eyes,” Spears’ character plays a pedophile lusting after John Doe, who was 7 years old at the time, according to the lawsuit. Haddish plays the boy’s mother, who leaves her child with the man. According to The Daily Beast, “John [Doe] spends most of the video clad only in his underwear as Spears’ character reads at him through two holes cut into a newspaper he pretends to read. During the sketch, the camera zooms in suggestively on the 7-year-old’s buttocks and crotch while he plays. Spears sprays baby oil onto the child’s back and massages it into his shoulders in one scene, and at another point the child plays with a train in a manner that suggests phallic masturbation. In another sequence, Spears smokes a cigarette while observing the child nude in a bathtub and pours water on his feet from him. ”
The video ends with text that reads: “Watch who you leave your kids with.” Funny or Die, where Spears originally uploaded the video, removed the clip in 2018 and told The Daily Beast it was “absolutely disgusting.”
Haddish’s attorney, Andrew Brettler, said in a statement to Vanity Fair that the plaintiff’s mother, Trizah Morris, has “been trying to assert these bogus claims against Ms. Haddish for several years.”
Brettler 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, 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.”
Read Haddish’s statement below: