Tiffany Haddish responded Monday to the allegations that comedy sketches she was involved in amounted to child sexual abuse, and said she regretted being part of them.
Haddish and fellow comedian Aries Spears were accused of child sexual abuse in a lawsuit filed last week. The suit, filed by two anonymous plaintiffs, accuses the comedians of recruiting them to perform indecent acts of a sexual nature for comedy sketches that were filmed in 2013 and 2014.
“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,” Haddish said in a statement posted on her Instagram. “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.”
Haddish said she looked forward to being able to share more about the situation as soon as she could. Haddish’s attorney, Andrew Brettler, previously denied the allegations in a statement to BuzzFeed News and called the lawsuit “frivolous” and an attempt to shake Haddish down for money.
The plaintiffs, identified in the lawsuit as John and Jane Doe, were 7 and 14 years old, respectively, at the time of the alleged incidents. The lawsuit accuses Haddish and Spears of intentional infliction of emotional distress, gross negligence, negligent supervision, breach of fiduciary duty, constructive fraud, sexual battery, sexual harassment, and sexual abuse of a minor.
The lawsuit accuses Haddish of taking Jane Doe, then 14, to a Hollywood studio to film a “sexually suggestive” video. The minor was asked by the comedians to watch a video featuring a group of women eating a sandwich and “moaning and making sexual noises as they both ate the sandwich in a manner that simulated the act of fellatio,” the suit said.
The plaintiff alleges that Spears then told Jane Doe to mimic what she had seen on the video, “including the noises precisely like what she had heard throughout the video.” Haddish then allegedly showed Jane Doe how to perform fellatio, “including movements, noises, moaning and groaning.”
The plaintiff alleges that Haddish paid her $100 and sent her home.
A year later, in 2014, Haddish reached out to the mother about filming another video, this time with her 7-year-old son, John Doe. The video was a comedy sketch titled, “Through a Pedophile’s Eyes.”
The lawsuit alleges that John was stripped “down to his underwear” and that the video shows Spears “lusting over the 7-year-old child and molesting him throughout the video.” The plaintiffs also allege that Haddish was present during the filming of the video.
Once filming ended, the lawsuit said, John “called his mother crying, saying he did not want to film anymore.”
BuzzFeed News reporter Anna Betts contributed to this report.