Entertainment » Celebrities

Trans Man Sues Rosario Dawson & Family, Alleges Transphobic Assault

Tuesday Oct 22, 2019
Actor Rosario Dawson
Actor Rosario Dawson  (Source:Instagram / @rosariodawson)

A transgender man filed a lawsuit in Los Angeles court last week, alleging actor Rosario Dawson and her family used transphobic language towards him as well as subjected him to violent abuse, according to a report from NBC News.

In the suit, Dedrek Finley said he moved from Beacon, New York to Los Angeles in December 2017 to work as a handyman for Dawson, 40, and her family and "renovate and remodel Rosario's personal residence." After coming out as trans, Finley moved into a home in North Hollywood that was rented by the family. He says in the suit that he wanted to be called by Derek and use he/him pronouns.

Finley, 55, goes on to allege that after coming out, "the family misgendered him multiple times a day, with deliberate indifference as to the appropriate ways to address Mr. Finley" and that Rosario herself "acted with deliberate indifference and did nothing to correct the situation."

"Instead, in response to Mr. Finley's complaints, Rosario would respond to Mr. Finley, 'You're a grown woman,'" according to the suit obtained by NBC News.

The suit alleges physical altercations as well. On April 28, 2018, Finley alleges the family worked together to assault him. He says Rosario's mother Isabel Dawson allegedly dragged him by his arm out of a window and then punched him.

"Once Mr. Finley was lying helpless on the ground outside, Isabel, who is substantially larger than Mr. Finley, got on top of Mr. Finley's body and began punching him," the suit obtained by NB News reads. "While beating Mr. Finley, Isabel screamed, 'You're not so much of a man now,' which was a clear and denigrating reference to Mr. Finley's gender identity."

The suit alleges Rosario Dawson was part of the attack alleging the actor sat on top of him and was "actively restraining him while he was on the ground to ensure that her mother could continue battering him." The suit goes on to allege Isabel Dawson made other threats towards him and stole his phone, which had alleged recordings of previous threats made against him.

A day after the alleged assault, Finley was granted a temporary restraining order against Isabel Dawson, the suit says, according to NBC News.

Finley's attorney Tasha Alyssa Hill spoke with NBC News about the suit.

"As his attorney, we have reached out numerous times to the Dawson family attorney seeking to resolve this before having to file suit," Hill said, adding that after receiving no response, the suit was filed last week before the statute of limitations expired.

"Mr. Finley had a good relationship with the family, did work with them in New York and had a good enough relationship that they invited him to California and offered him a living situation and a full time working situation for the family," Hill told NBC News. "When they did that, they knew him as a lesbian woman."

"When he came out to California and decided to come out to them as a transgender man, that's when things started going south," Hill added. "He just wants to get some sort of compensation, so he can get back on track with his life so he can put this incident behind him."

Dawson is currently dating 2020 Democratic presidential candidate Sen. Cory Booker of New Jersey. She has yet to respond to the lawsuit.

Click here to read NBC News's full report.

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