A transgender employee of actress Rosario Dawson is suing her and her family, accusing them of a violent assault and transphobic bias, including repeated misgendering.
Dedrek Finley came to know the family as a lesbian woman some time ago, Finley’s attorney, Tasha Alyssa Hill, told NBC News. Finley got along so well with Dawson, her mother, Isabel Dawson, and their family that they invited Finley to move from upstate Beacon, N.Y., to Los Angeles in December 2017 to do design and maintenance work on Dawson’s home.
But soon after moving to L.A., Finley came out to Dawson and her family as a transgender man. Hill tells NBC that’s when everything went downhill—culminating in her client getting a beatdown by Dawson’s mama with help from Dawson herself, girlfriend of Democratic presidential hopeful Sen. Cory Booker.
Immediately after Finley came out as transgender, “the family misgendered him multiple times each day, with deliberate indifference as to the appropriate way to address Mr. Finley,” the suit claims. Rosario Dawson, “acted with deliberate indifference and did nothing to correct the situation.”
“Instead, in response to Mr. Finley’s complaints, Rosario would respond to Mr. Finley, ‘You’re a grown woman,’” despite the fact that Finley had come out as transgender to the family.
Things came to a head in April 2018, when Finley claims Isabel Dawson dragged him out of a window and beat him to the ground, all the while yelling transphobic insults including, “You’re not so much of a man now,” according to NBC.
Rosario Dawson, according to Finley’s suit, participated in the beatdown “by sitting on top of him and ‘actively restraining him while he was on the ground to ensure that her mother could continue battering him.’”
Neither the attorney for Dawson’s family, Alan Kossoff, nor reps for Dawson herself responded to NBC’s requests for comment.
Hill says her client is seeking “some sort of compensation,” telling NBC News:
“When he came out to California and decided to come out to them as a transgender man, that’s when things started going south.”