Disney is currently hard at work on one of its newest movies — The Haunted Mansion. The Haunted Mansion will star Rosario Dawson as a single mother named Gabbie who moves to Louisiana with her young son. As you probably would have guessed, they purchase an old house that is haunted — possibly by 999 happy haunts. The Haunted Mansion will also star Chase Dillon as Gabbie’s son, Owen Wilson as a priest, Danny DeVito as a history professor, Jamie Lee Curtis as Madame Leota, Jared Leto as The Hatbox Ghost, and Tiffany Haddish as Harriet.
This is not the first Haunted Mansion movie that Disney has released, but The House of Mouse is hoping that this one fares better than its predecessor. In 2003, Disney released The Haunted Mansion, which starred Eddie Murphy, but the movie was an overall flop. It was not enjoyed by critics or fans and is sitting at 14% on the Rotten Tomatoes Tomatometer and only has a 30% audience score.
There are certainly some big names in this new iteration of The Haunted Mansion, but unfortunately, one of the actresses is popping up in the news for a pretty dark reason. According to a recently-filed lawsuit, an unnamed woman claims that Tiffany Haddish coerced her and her younger brother into performing sexually-explicit acts on camera. Comedian Aries Spears was also named in the lawsuit.
In a lawsuit filed Monday and first reported Thursday by TMZ and obtained by TheWrap, the older child alleges two separate incidents in which she and her brother were encouraged to perform sexually suggestive acts on-camera. The suit was filed by Jane Doe, now 22, and on behalf of her younger brother John Doe, now 14.
At one point, the suit says, Haddish and Spears had Jane watch a recording of a group of young women eating a subway sandwich in a sexually suggestive manner. The lawsuit says Spears told Jane, who was “nervous and disgusted,” to “mimic” the video; at one point Haddish stepped in and began to demonstrate “how to give fellatio.” Jane, who was paid $100 for the shoot, did not tell her mother at the time about the incident.
One year later, the lawsuit says, Haddish approached the children’s mother about hiring her son, then 7, for a video she said would be a sizzle reel for Nickelodeon. Instead, the boy was filmed in a video titled “Through a Pedophile’s Eyes” that was intended for the user-generated section of “Funny or Die!” according to the suit. (Funny or Die! immediately removed the video at the time of its posting in 2018 and has since condemned its contents.)
After the lawsuit was filed and a copy was obtained, Haddish’s lawyer spoke to The Wrap and gave the following statement.
“Plaintiff’s mother … has been trying to assert these bogus claims against Ms. Haddish for several years,” the attorney said. ”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, [she] has her adult daughter representing herself in this lawsuit. The two of them will together face the consequences of pursuing this frivolous action.”
Investigations into the relationship between Haddish and the two plaintiffs reveal that Haddish became friendly with their mother while on the comedy circuit. They became so close that the plaintiffs — who were both minors at the time — called her “Auntie Tiff” and she referred to them as her niece and nephew. It is unknown what happened between Haddish and the mother, or the mother and her children, but the eldest plaintiff — referred to as Jane Doe — filed the lawsuit on behalf of her and her minor brother, who she has legal guardianship over.
The Haunted Mansion is currently scheduled to be released on March 10, 2023.