Next 'Me Too' wave? 8 lawsuits filed against top Hollywood actors, music legends in 3 weeks

New string of allegations comes mostly out of a special law, which creates a year-long suspension of usual time limit to sue over an alleged sexual assault

By Agencies

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Published: Thu 23 Nov 2023, 12:41 PM

Last updated: Thu 23 Nov 2023, 1:42 PM

Is it a second 'Me Too' wave? In the last three weeks, 10 celebrities in the entertainment industry in US have been accused or sued for sexual harassment. The new string of allegations comes mostly out of a special New York law, which creates a year-long suspension of the usual time limit to sue over an alleged sexual assault. That year ends on Thursday, November 23. After this date, people will no longer be able to sue over abuse that happened many years ago.

New York was one of several states to revisit laws in recent years that set time limits for civil legal claims stemming from sexual assaults, though usually for people abused as children. Advocates say New York's current window gives traumatised adults a chance to seek accountability from big institutions and powerful men who can use their wealth and position to shield themselves.

The act was modeled after a previous New York law offering people abused as children a temporary window to file claims. Gov. Kathy Hochul said the initial law “forgot” people who suffered the same type of abuse as adults. She signed a new law opening a one-year window for adult survivors on November 24, 2022. A series of high-profile lawsuits followed.

Here are some of the big names in the entertainment industry that were sued in the last month.

1. Jamie Foxx

Oscar-winning actor Jamie Foxx was accused of sexual assault on November 22, in a lawsuit filed in New York City on Wednesday that alleges he groped a woman at a rooftop bar and restaurant in Manhattan in August 2015. The plaintiff, identified in the complaint only as Jane Doe, said the assault occurred in a secluded corner of the Catch NYC rooftop lounge after she and a friend had approached the film star and had their pictures taken with him.

Photo: AFP
Photo: AFP

The lawsuit said Foxx began groping the woman and putting his hands under her clothing against her will until her friend found the two of them, interrupting the encounter, and she left.

Foxx's representatives did not immediately respond to a request for comment on the lawsuit, which seeks unspecified damages.

2. Diddy

Sean Combs, also known as 'Diddy' on November 16 was accused in a lawsuit by R&B singer Cassie last week of subjecting her to a long-term relationship that included beatings and rape. The two artists announced a settlement a day after the filing. Combs denied the allegations.

Photo: AP
Photo: AP

3. Russell Brand

Brand was accused in a lawsuit on November 3 of sexually assaulting a film extra during the making of his movie “Arthur” in 2010. British media outlets in September published claims by four women who said they were sexually assaulted by the actor, who says his relationships were “always consensual.”

Photo: AFP
Photo: AFP

4. Bill Cosby

Bill Cosby was on November 16 accused in a lawsuit of sexually assaulting a young comedy writer more than 50 years ago. Joan Tarshis initially made the allegations against Cosby in 2014 that are in the new lawsuit. A Cosby spokesperson did not address the specifics of Tarshis’s claims, but asked of the recent lawsuits against famous men: “When is it going to stop?”

Photo: AP
Photo: AP

5. Axl Rose

Guns N' Roses frontman Axl Rose has been accused of sexually assaulting a woman in 1989. In a court filing on November 22, the victim Sheila Kennedy, an actress and model, alleges that Rose "sexually assaulted her" and that she "did not consent and felt overpowered".

Rose, lead singer of the heavy rock band famous for albums like "Appetite for Destruction," has yet to comment publicly. The incident is alleged to have happened in a New York hotel room after the pair met in a nightclub.

Photo: Reuters
Photo: Reuters

6. Steven Tyler

The Aerosmith lead singer faced his second sexual assault allegation on November 2, when he was accused of abusing a 17-year-old girl in the 1970s, according to The Guardian. Former child actor Jeanne Bellino said in a lawsuit that the now 75-year-old singer groped and kissed her against her will.

Photo: AP
Photo: AP

7. Cuba Gooding Jr

Cuba Gooding Jr was sued on November 22 by two women whose sexual assault cases against the Oscar-winning actor underlay a criminal prosecution that ended with him pleading guilty but serving no jail time.

In a complaint filed in a New York state court in Manhattan, Jasmine Abbay said the "Jerry Maguire" star forcibly kissed her without her consent in September 2018, while she was working as a cocktail waitress at the LAVO nightclub in midtown Manhattan.

Photo: Reuters
Photo: Reuters

The other plaintiff, Kelsey Harbert, accused Gooding of groping her breast in June 2019 at the Magic Hour rooftop bar, also in midtown.

Lawyers who have represented Gooding in civil and criminal litigation over his alleged sexual misconduct did not immediately respond to requests for comment.

8. Antonio 'L.A.' Reid

In November, Grammy-winning music executive Antonio “L.A.” Reid was sued on November 8 by Drew Dixon, who worked for Reid when he was chief executive of Arista Records. She says Reid sexually assaulted her twice in 2001, including an incident on a private plane. No attorney for Reid was listed in electronic filings.

Photo: AP
Photo: AP

(Inputs from AP, AFP, Reuters)

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