The anti-trans lawsuit filed against Rosario Dawson, in which the actress and her family were accused of anti-transgender discrimination and assault by longtime family friend Dedrek Finley, has been dismissed by the Los Angeles Superior Court.
Filed against Dawson in 2019, Finley’s lawsuit alleged that the actress and three members of her family “violated Dedrek Finley’s civil rights by discriminating against him for his transgender status” and sought “damages for that as well as battery, assault, emotional distress and several other allegations.”
According to the lawsuit, shortly after Finley came out to Dawson and her family as transgender, “the family misgendered him multiple times each day, with deliberate indifference as to the appropriate way to address [him].”
“[Rosario] acted with deliberate indifference and did nothing to correct the situation,” read the lawsuit. “Instead, in response to Mr. Finley’s complaints, Rosario would respond to Mr. Finley, ‘You’re a grown woman.’”
The lawsuit also claimed that Finley had been the victim of a group assault by Dawson and her family, which began when the actress’ mother, Isabel Dawson, dragged the man out of a window and began attacking 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 stated. “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.”
In August 2020, Finley rescinded 18 of his 20 accusations, including those of misgendering and discrimination, and saw the lawyer representing him at the time withdraw from the case. This left Dawson facing only two counts of assault, both of which concerned the alleged family brawl.
Seeking to discern whether the two remaining accusations were actionable or not, the court subsequently asked Finley to provide further evidence to back up his claims, including “documentation, answers to questions, and an independent medical examination aimed at reinforcing his claims of mental and physical harm”.
However, after Finley failed to produce the requested information after several orders from the court, Judge Armen Tamzarian ultimately ruled on May 21st that the Los Angeles Superior Court “hereby dismisses the action.”
Following the first public report of the ruling by Vanity Fair on May 27th, Dawson took to her personal Twitter account to address the conclusion of the arduous saga, telling her followers, “My family is pleased that this baseless suit is over.”
“While the vast majority of the false claims had been voluntarily withdrawn last year-including every single false claim of discrimination-the court has now terminated the remainder of the case allowing us all to move forward,” wrote Dawson.
In a follow-up tweet, she added, “That these false claims came from someone we’ve known as chosen family for decades and who we were trying so hard to help out, as we have many times in the past, was very heartbreaking.”
“Nevertheless,” she concluded, “we have great empathy for him and have only ever wished him well.”
As of writing, Finley has not commented on the case’s dismissal.
As noted by Vanity Fair, Finley “did not reply to a request for comment left on the phone number listed in court filings, or to an email address in the documents that was designated as his contact” and gave ” no response to a direct message sent to him via Facebook,” while “a call to his publicly listed business line revealed it was no longer active.”
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