The former plaintiff in a lawsuit accusing actress Tiffany Haddish and comedian Aries Spears of child sexual abuse has dropped her case. Jane Doe (whose anonymity is ensured by the nature of the allegations) filed a notice of dismissal with prejudice on Tuesday.
“My family and I have known Tiffany Haddish for many years – and we now know that she would never harm me or my brother or help anyone else do anything that could harm us,” she said in a statement, first issued via TMZ. “We wish Tiffany the best and are glad that we can all put this behind us.”
Doe was representing herself and filed the lawsuit August 30. She alleged that she and her younger brother were exploited during Haddish and Spears’ sketch “Through a Pedophile’s Eyes.” The dropped suit accused Spears and Haddish of intentional infliction of emotional distress, gross negligence, sexual battery, sexual harassment, and sexual abuse of a minor.
“I know people have a bunch of questions,” Haddish said in a response posted to social media in early September. “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. I really look forward to being able to share a lot more about this situation as soon as I can.”
“Plaintiff’s mother…has been trying to assert these bogus claims against Ms. Haddish for several years,” legal representation for Haddish said in a statement to IndieWire. “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.” (In the statement, Haddish’s attorney revealed the accusers’ mother’s last name, which IndieWire will not reveal.)
During an episode of Spears podcast, titled “It Hit the Fan,” the comedian said he was “no coward” but also is “not guilty of anything.” Representatives for Spears and Haddish did not immediately respond to IndieWire’s request for comment.
Samantha Bergeson contributed to this report.