“Fast and Furious” franchise owner Vin Diesel has been accused of sexual battery and creating a hostile work environment in a lawsuit filed by a former assistant.
The civil suit, filed Thursday in Los Angeles Superior Court and obtained by CNN, stems from a 2010 incident in which Diesel’s former assistant, Asta Jonasson, accused Diesel of forcing himself to masturbate in front of her in an Atlanta hotel suite.
Diesel ignored Jonasson’s “clear statements of non-consent,” and after she “ran to a nearby bathroom,” he “pinned her against the wall with his body,” the complaint states.
“Vin Diesel vehemently denies this claim,” Diesel’s attorney Brian Friedman wrote in a statement to CNN later Friday. This is the first time he has heard about this claim of more than 13 years as a 9-day worker.”
Jonasson is suing Diesel, his company, One Race Productions, and Diesel’s sister, Samantha Vincent, alleging sexual battery, creating a hostile work environment, negligent supervision and wrongful termination.
Jonasson says that Samantha Vincent, the head of diesel company One Race at the time, called her “just hours” after the attack and “terminated Mrs. Jonasson.”
He is seeking civil penalties of $10,000 for each violation and unspecified punitive damages, according to the suit.
“No one is too famous or powerful to avoid justice,” Claire-Liz Goodley of Greenberg Cross LLP, Jonason’s lawyer, wrote in a statement shared with CNN. “We hope her courageous decision to come forward helps create lasting change and empowers other survivors.”
Diesel has appeared in over 60 television and film titles. He is also one of the producers of the worldwide hit franchise of “Fast & Furious” movies. He has several upcoming projects including “Fast X: Part 2”.
This story has been updated with additional information.
CNN’s Elizabeth Wackmeister contributed to this story.