Asta Jonasson, who used to work as Vin Diesel’s assistant, is suing him for sexual assault. She claims it happened back in 2010 when they were shooting “Fast Five” in Atlanta. Her lawyers at Greenberg Gross are backing her up, and this has put Diesel in a pretty bad light.
The Incident at the St. Regis Hotel
- Alleged Assault: Jonasson claims that Diesel forcibly pulled her onto a bed in his suite at the St. Regis Hotel after a night of socializing with hostesses from a club.
- Details of the Assault: She describes being pinned against a wall, groped, and forced to touch Diesel’s genitals. The actor then allegedly masturbated in front of her.
- Jonasson’s Response: Terrified and unable to escape, Jonasson states she closed her eyes, fearing further angering Diesel.
Aftermath and Termination
- Immediate Consequences: Hours after the incident, Jonasson received a call from Samantha Vincent, Diesel’s sister and the president of his company, terminating her employment.
- Emotional Impact: Jonasson describes feeling like “a piece of trash to be discarded,” with her self-esteem and career aspirations severely damaged.
Legal Proceedings and Statutes Involved
- Lawsuit Details: The lawsuit includes claims of sexual battery, gender discrimination, wrongful termination, retaliation, and negligent supervision.
- Statutory Support: Jonasson’s legal action is facilitated by California’s Sexual Abuse and Cover-Up Accountability Act, which allows for the filing of suits otherwise outside the statute of limitations.
Additional Allegations and Cover-Up Attempts
- Previous Proposition: Before the incident with Diesel, Jonasson alleges being propositioned by another supervisor at One Race, Diesel’s company.
- Nondisclosure Agreement: Despite signing a nondisclosure agreement, Jonasson was able to file the claims under the Speak Out Act, which prevents the enforcement of such agreements in instances of sexual assault and harassment.
Response from Vin Diesel’s Camp
- No Immediate Comment: Representatives for Vin Diesel, represented by the Creative Artists Agency (CAA), have not yet responded to the allegations.
Implications for Diesel’s Career and the Fast & Furious Franchise
- Financial Stakes: With the “Fast & Furious” franchise grossing over $7 billion, these allegations pose a significant threat to Diesel’s career and the franchise’s future.
- Demand for Accountability: The lawsuit seeks punitive and exemplary damages, aiming to punish and deter such conduct in the future.
Industry Reaction and Broader Implications
- Hollywood’s Response: The entertainment industry, still reeling from the #MeToo movement, is closely watching the outcome of this case. It underscores the need for a safer and more respectful work environment.
- Public Perception: The allegations against a prominent figure like Diesel may influence public attitudes towards the “Fast & Furious” franchise and Hollywood’s handling of such issues.
Support for Victims
- Empowering Legislation: Laws like California’s Sexual Abuse and Cover Up Accountability Act and the Speak Out Act are vital tools for victims seeking justice, as they help bypass traditional legal hurdles.
- Advocacy for Change: Advocacy groups and legal representatives continue to emphasize the importance of creating spaces where victims can come forward without fear of retribution or dismissal.
The Legal Road Ahead
- Next Steps in the Case: As the case proceeds, further details and possibly additional testimonies may emerge, shaping the trajectory of the lawsuit.
- Diesel’s Potential Response: The legal team for Vin Diesel, should they choose to respond, will play a crucial role in the unfolding narrative and public discourse surrounding the case.
Conclusion and Broader Context
- A Call for Justice: Greenberg Gross, representing Jonasson, emphasizes the importance of holding powerful individuals like Diesel accountable for their actions.
- Ongoing Issue: This case highlights the persistent problem of sexual harassment in the workplace and the challenges faced by victims in speaking out against powerful figures. For more detailed information on the case and its implications, readers can refer to the comprehensive report by Vanity Fair.