Aries Spears spoke publicly for the first time about the lawsuit he and Tiffany Haddish are facing over video sketches in which they allegedly had two minors perform sexually suggestive acts.
via: Page Six
“Listen, obviously for legal reasons, I really can’t talk about anything at this time,” the stand-up comic, 47, said in a preview of his “Spears & Steinberg” podcast posted on Instagram Wednesday.
“But I just, more or less, want to say to all the loyal listeners, thank you guys for your support and for your love. Listen, this is an extortion case, this is a shakedown. We won’t be shaken down.”
Reps for Spears and Haddish, 42, did not immediately respond to Page Six’s request for comment.
In a lawsuit previously obtained by Page Six, siblings only identified as Jane Doe, now 22, and John Doe, now 14, claim Spears and Haddish coerced them into filming explicit skits when they were younger.
In 2013, the actress appeared as a guest speaker at a summer camp attended by 14-year-old Jane. She allegedly told Jane that she’d discovered “a perfect role” for the teen in her very own commercial.
According to the suit, neither Jane nor her mother were aware of shoot details, while Haddish and Spears were said to know the plot.
The shoot allegedly involved Haddish teaching Jane how to mimic fellatio for a skit about kids arguing over a sub sandwich. Haddish paid Jane $100, the lawsuit claims, before sending her home.
A year later, Haddish allegedly reached out to the siblings’ mother to let her know that she was interested in the younger brother, John, for a Nickelodeon sizzle reel.
The suit claims the 7-year-old was molested by Haddish and Spears while filming what became a disturbing video published via Funny Or Die and more online platforms, titled “Through a Pedophile’s Eyes.”
A representative for Funny or Die told the Daily Beast in a statement, “Funny Or Die 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.”
In a statement to Page Six, Spears’ attorney, Debra Opri, said, “He isn’t going to fall for any shakedown.”
Haddish’s attorney, Andrew Brettler, echoed that the lawsuit is an extortion attempt.
“Plaintiff’s mother, Trizah Morris, has been trying to assert these bogus claims against Ms. Haddish for several years,” he told Page Six.
“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,” Brettler continued.
“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.”
Haddish also addressed the lawsuit on Monday, saying in a statement via Instagram, “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.”