Yesterday, a civil suit was filed against Vin Diesel by his former assistant, accusing the “Fast & Furious” star of sexual battery and creating a hostile work environment.
The lawsuit, filed in Los Angeles Superior Court by Asta Jonasson, addresses an incident that occurred in 2010. While in an Atlanta hotel, Diesel allegedly forced himself on Jonasson and then masturbated in front of her.
The suit details the incident, stating that Jonasson expressed “clear statements of non- consent” and “screamed and ran towards the nearby bathroom.” After she tried to run to the bathroom, the lawsuit says that Diesel followed after her, “pinn[ing] her against the wall with his body.”
Claiming sexual battery, creating a hostile work environment, negligent supervision and wrongful termination, Jonasson filed the lawsuit against Vin Diesel himself, his company One Race Productions, and Diesel’s sister Samantha Vincent. Jonasson claims that just “mere hours” after the assault allegedly occurred, Samantha Vincent called her as acting president of One Race Productions and “terminated Ms. Jonasson’s employment.”
Jonasson and her legal team are suing for a $10,000 civil penalty per violation, along with an unspecified amount in punitive damages. Jonasson’s attorney, Claire-Lise Kutlay, made a statement about the suit saying: “No-one is too famous or powerful to evade justice. We hope her courageous decision to come forward helps create lasting change and empowers other survivors.”
This morning, Vin Diesel’s attorney, Bryan Freedman, made a statement about the lawsuit to CNN. He said: “Vin Diesel categorically denies this claim in its entirety. This is the first he has ever heard about this more than 13 year old claim made by a purportedly 9 day employee.”
As the story develops and more details become available, it will be more clear whether this strong of a stance to take was a smart idea for Diesel. With Diesel starring in over 60 films/TV shows along with being a producer of a global hit franchise, the suit is asking for a surprisingly a small amount in civil penalties.