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    Comedians Tiffany Haddish, Aries Spears accused of child sexual abuse

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    Comedians Tiffany Haddish and Aries Spears were accused of sexually abusing children in a lawsuit filed Tuesday in Los Angeles Superior Court.

    The suit — filed on behalf of anonymous individuals Jane Doe and John Doe, the latter of whom is still a minor — alleges that Jane was sexually harassed and abused by Haddish and Spears while attending a comedy camp in 2013, when she was 14, and that John was abused during the filming of a sketch in 2014, when he was 7.

    Jane, now 22, is the legal guardian of John, her younger brother who was born in 2007. They knew Haddish as a family friend through their mother, who, according to the document, found out about the alleged incidents after the fact and was “distraught, immensely sad, depressed, shocked, cold, numb, nauseous, and suicidal for trusting Haddish with her children.”

    The Daily Beast first reported news of the suit.

    In a statement shared Friday with The Washington Post, Andrew Brettler, an attorney for Haddish, said the mother “has been trying to assert these bogus claims against Ms. Haddish for several years. … Now, [she] has her adult daughter representing herself in this lawsuit. The two of them will together face the consequences of pursuing this frivolous action.”

    Debra Opri, an attorney for Spears, said her client “isn’t going to fall for any shakedown.”

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    During the summer of 2013, a teenage Jane attended a comedy camp at which Haddish was a guest speaker. According to the suit, Haddish told Jane she had a role for her in a comedy skit and showed Jane a video of two people arguing over a sandwich that they then began to eat simultaneously “in a manner that simulated the act of fellatio.” Jane alleged that Spears, who was also present, then told her to mimic the actions and sounds she had seen, and that Haddish coached Jane on how to do it as well.

    “Physically, emotionally, and mentally uncomfortable, Plaintiff Jane Doe mimicked the acts that Haddish and Spears wanted her to do so she could go home,” the lawsuit alleges, adding that “until this point, Haddish was a role model to this 14-year-old victim. … Haddish groomed the child victim, gained her trust, and created a false sense of security.”

    A year later, Haddish allegedly brought the children to Spears’s home to film John in a video sketch she said would help him book a role on Nickelodeon. The suit states that Haddish separated the siblings and that she and Spears stripped John down to his underwear to film a video titled “Through A Pedophiles Eyes,” which depicted “Spears lusting over the 7-year-old child and molesting him throughout.” The document includes stills from the footage, which at times focused on John’s body.

    The children’s mother said Haddish and Spears were evasive when she asked to see the footage that had made her son cry. According to the lawsuit, the video was uploaded to the Funny or Die website. In a statement shared with The Post, Funny or Die expressed that the company “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.”

    Spears is best known for having regularly appeared on the sketch comedy series “Mad TV,” while Haddish has risen to A-list status after her breakout role in the 2017 comedy “Girls Trip.” Jane alleged in the suit that seeing Haddish mime oral sex in a scene from the film “unlocked a repressed memory” and led Jane to realize “the severity of what happened to her.”

    Alice Crites contributed to this report.

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