Tiffany Haddish is speaking out in response to the child molestation lawsuit brought against her and comedian Aris Spears.
“I know people have a lot of questions. I have. I’m here with you,” Haddish wrote on Instagram. “Unfortunately, because there is a legal case in progress, there is very little I can say right now. But obviously, while this sketch was intended to be a comedy, it wasn’t funny at all – and I deeply regret agreeing to star. I really hope I can share a lot more about this situation as soon as possible.”
The lawsuit, filed last week by an anonymous woman, alleges Haddish and Spears exploited Jane Doe, now 22, and her brother John Doe, now 14, in two sketch comedies filmed as children.
In a clip titled “Through a Pedophile’s Eyes,” Spears’ character plays a pedophile with a crush on John Doe, who was 7 at the time, according to the lawsuit. Haddish plays the boy’s mother, who leaves her son with the man. During the sketch, the camera zooms in suggestively on the 7-year-old’s hips and crotch as he plays. Spears sprays baby oil on the child’s back and massages his shoulders in one scene, and in another, the child plays with trains in a way that suggests phallic masturbation. In another sequence, Spears observes the naked child in the bathtub, smokes a cigarette and splashes water on her feet.”
The video ends with the caption: “Be careful who you leave your kids with.” Funny or Die, where Spears originally uploaded the video, removed the clip in 2018, telling The Daily Beast it was “absolutely disgusting”.
The plaintiff’s mother, Trijah Morris, “has been trying to make these false allegations against Haddish for several years,” Haddish’s attorney Andrew Brettler told Vanity Fair in a statement.
“All of the attorneys who initially took her case – and there were several – she eventually dropped the matter when it became clear that the claims had no merit and that Ms. Haddish would not be swayed,” Brettler continued. Now Mrs. Morris is representing herself in the lawsuit for her adult daughter. Together, they will face the consequences of pursuing this frivolous act.”