Hollywood superstar Vin Diesel is facing a seismic legal battle as he confronts serious allegations of sexual assault brought forth by his former assistant, Asta Jonasson.
In a lawsuit filed in Los Angeles County Superior Court, Jonasson accuses the 56-year-old actor of sexual battery, creating a hostile work environment, wrongful termination, and intentional infliction of emotional distress, among other grievances.
The allegations date back to 2010 when Diesel was filming the fifth installment of the blockbuster Fast and Furious franchise, Fast Five. According to legal documents obtained by Vanity Fair, Jonasson claims that Diesel forcibly grabbed her wrists, pulled her onto a bed, groped her breasts, and kissed her chest against her will.
“Vin Diesel forcibly grabbed Ms. Jonasson, groped her breasts, and kissed her. Ms. Jonasson struggled continually to break free of his grasp while repeatedly saying no,” the lawsuit states. It further alleges that Diesel tried to remove her underwear and proceeded to masturbate while keeping her pinned to a wall.
Jonasson contends that after the incident, she received a call from Diesel’s sister, Samantha Vincent, terminating her employment. She experienced a profound sense of degradation and loss of self-esteem.
Vin Diesel’s attorney, Bryan Freedman, vehemently denies these allegations, emphasizing, “Vin Diesel categorically denies this claim in its entirety. This is the first he has ever heard about this more than 13-year-old claim made by a purportedly nine-day employee. There is clear evidence which completely refutes these outlandish allegations.”
The lawsuit also reveals that part of Jonasson’s job duties included organizing parties and providing “cover” by standing close to Diesel at events. Jonasson remained silent for years, fearing repercussions in an industry known for protecting powerful figures. However, the #MeToo and Time’s Up movements have empowered her to seek justice and reclaim her agency.
The #MeToo movement, which began in 2017, shed light on rampant sexual harassment and abuse in various industries, including Hollywood. Jonasson’s attorney, Claire-Lise Kutlay, emphasizes, “The law exists to protect those who have been wronged, no matter how powerful or famous the defendant is. Sexual harassment in the workplace will never stop if powerful men are shielded from accountability.”
As the #MeToo movement continues to make waves, Asta Jonasson’s lawsuit against Vin Diesel adds another chapter to the ongoing fight against sexual harassment and abuse in the entertainment industry. The outcome of this case will undoubtedly have a lasting impact on the industry’s culture and accountability for those in positions of power.