American actor Vin Diesel, star of the Fast and Furious film franchise, is accused of sexual assault by a former assistant, according to a civil complaint filed Thursday, December 21, before the California courts.
The facts in question date back to 2010 and allegedly took place in a hotel room in Atlanta (Georgia), in the southeast of the United States, during the filming of the fifth episode of the successful saga. The plaintiff, Asta Jonasson, who had just been hired by the film crew, had been sent to help the actor leave the hotel in the early hours while avoiding the paparazzi.
“While she was alone in the hotel suite with him, Vin Diesel sexually assaulted her, groping her breasts and kissing her. Ms. Jonasson struggled to free herself from his grip, while repeatedly telling him no,” the complaint states, adding that the actor then tried to remove her underwear.
According to the document, the complainant – who declined to remain anonymous – then fled into the bathroom, pursued by Vin Diesel, whose real name is Mark Sinclair Vincent. The actor then forced her to touch him, before pinning her against a wall and masturbating in front of her. The complainant says she was fired by telephone the day after the incident by Samantha Vincent, the actor’s sister and director of the company that employed him.
The lawyer “categorically denies”
Asta Jonasson, who says he found the courage to testify thanks to the #metoo free speech movement, is suing the actor, his sister and their companies for damages, the amounts of which are not specified.
“It is clear to [Asta Jonasson] that she was fired because she was no longer useful. Vin Diesel used her to satisfy his sexual desires, and she resisted his sexual assaults,” the complaint alleges.
“Vin Diesel categorically denies these allegations in their entirety,” said the actor’s lawyer, Bryan Freedman, in a statement cited by the trade magazine Variety . “This is the first time he has heard of this complaint which dates back thirteen years and is brought by a person who only worked nine days” for the actor, added his counsel.
The recent extension by the Californian justice system of the statute of limitations for sexual crimes allowed the plaintiff to file a complaint.