Rosario Dawson and three members of her family are being sued for physical and verbal abuse against a transgender employee who they knew for two decades.
According to the complaint, obtained by Buzzfeed News, a longtime acquaintance of the family, named Dedrek Finley, is suing them on charges of assault, battery and emotional distress, among other damages. The defendants include the Puerto Rican-Cuban actress as well as her mother, stepfather and brother.
Finley, who is trans, said he started transitioning while working for the Dawson family in 2017. He came out to them in December of that year, making his gender pronouns clear. Rather than addressing him as such, Finley alleges the family continuously misgendered him.
The 55-year-old was originally based in New York but says he was sent to Los Angeles to perform construction work, with the promise that there would be no shortage of work for him should he choose to relocate permanently. He reportedly was allowed to live with the family and earned $25 an hour while he figured out permanent relocation.
Things got physical, he claims, when Finley overstayed his welcome in a home he then subleased from Isabel Dawson, Rosario’s mother. After forcefully entering the premises, Finley alleges he was pulled out of the apartment and punched while Isabel screamed,“You’re not so much of a man now.” He claims the actress, who is currently dating Democratic presidential candidate Cory Booker, held him down during the incident.
Following the alleged scuffle, Finley put a restraining order against Isabel. Their relationship grew more sour until, according to the lawsuit, he was left “emotionally distressed and financially ruined.”
The Dawson family has yet to comment. The complaint was filed on October 18.