Tiffany Haddish had a tough year in 2022 after allegations surfaced that she was engaged in a sexual abuse scandal with fellow comedian Aries Spears, but she didn’t think that there would be such a heavy push to have her not appear on a Girls Trip sequel, which is set to begin production soon.
The 43-year-old South Central actress was spotted outside the popular The Ivy restaurant in Los Angeles when she was asked about her thoughts surrounding the controversy about having her onboard for the film’s second act, which is rumored to be set in Ghana.
“[I] can’t be concerned with what other people think,” she told TMZ Wednesday. “I gotta be concerned about how I feel.”
She also stated that as long as her costars, Queen Latifah, Jada Pinkett Smith and Regina Hall wanted her to stay as a cast member, she would be there.
Her remarks come just months after a lawsuit was filed in Los Angeles Superior Court alleging she “groomed” and “molested” two underage siblings.
According to legal documents, the Nobody’s Fool actress – along with Spears, who was named co-defendant in the lawsuit – encouraged a 14-year-old girl to perform fellatio on a sandwich in 2013. The lawsuit alleged that Haddish and Spears featured a 7-year-old boy in a skit in which he was asked to strip down to his underwear. The plaintiffs in the suit have adopted the names Jane Doe and John Doe in the suit’s filings. They are now 22 and 15, respectively.
The Daily Beast broke the story in September, which detailed both incidents of the alleged sexual abuse. In the latter incident, “John spends most of the video clad only in his underwear as Spears’ character leers at him though two holes cut into a newspaper he pretends to read,” the publication reported.
It continued: “During the sketch, the camera zooms in suggestively on the seven-year-old’s buttocks and crotch while he plays. Spears sprays baby oil onto the child’s back and massages it into his shoulders in one scene, and at another point the child plays with a train in a manner that suggests phallic masturbation. In another sequence, Spears smokes a cigarette while observing the child nude in a bathtub and pours water on his feet.” The video also shows Haddish playing the boy’s guardian before leaving him with Spears, who plays a pedophile.
Haddish’s attorney, Andrew Brettler dismissed the accusations, stating that the “plaintiff’s mother, Trizah Morris, has been trying to assert these bogus claims against Ms. Haddish for several years,” he told the Los Angeles Times. “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.”
Spears’ attorney, Debra Opri also responded to the allegations at the time. “He isn’t going to fall for any shakedown,” she told the Los Angeles Times.