Actress Rosario Dawson and her family are being sued by a transgender man who claims they discriminated against him because of his gender and violently assaulted him.
Dedrek Finley, a former employee of the Dawson family, filed a suit that alleges the actress and three of her family members violated his civil rights by “discriminating against him for his transgender status,” NBC News reports. He’s also suing for assault, battery, trespass, and labor violations.
The 55-year-old began working for the family in 2017 as a repairman around the house, and sometime after, he came out as transgender. According to the suit, the family “misgendered him multiple times each day, with deliberate indifference as to the appropriate way to address Mr. Finley.”
The 40-year-old actress “acted with deliberate indifference and did nothing to correct the situation.” She also told him that he’s “a grown woman,” whenever he would voice his complaints about the situation.
The microaggressions eventually ballooned into assault in 2018, when Finley alleges that he was attacked by the family. Rosario’s mother is accused of battering him, with help from her daughter.
“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 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.”
Rosario Dawson allegedly “actively restrained” Finley by sitting on top of him so that her mother could continue the assault. Finley broke free and was able to call the police, and afterward, he was granted a restraining order against Dawson’s mother.
Finley’s lawyer told NBC News that he was presented with no other options than to sue the Dawsons.
“When he came out to California and decided to come out to them as a transgender man, that’s when things started going south,” Tasha Alyssa Hill told the news outlet. “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.”