Vin Diesel is facing a lawsuit from ex-assistant Asta Jonasson, accused of sexual battery and wrongful termination in connection to a 2010 incident. The complaint, filed in Los Angeles, additionally implicates Diesel’s sister, Samantha Vincent, and the production company One Race Films, co-founded by Diesel and managed by Vincent.
“Ms. Jonasson’s lawsuit seeks to hold Vin Diesel accountable for his sexual assaults, and her former employer accountable for its unlawful termination of her employment and cover up of the sexual assaults,” Jonasson’s attorney, Claire-Lise Kutlay, said in a statement to CBS News.
Bryan Freedman, an attorney for the actor, wrote: “Let me be very clear, 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 9 day employee. There is clear evidence which completely refutes these outlandish allegations.”
The civil suit alleges that while Jonasson was working for Diesel in Atlanta, where he was filming “Fast Five,” he forced himself on her in a hotel room. The complaint states that he groped and kissed her as she struggled to break free and continued to refuse his advances.
“Vin Diesel ignored Ms. Jonasson’s clear statements of non-consent to his sexual assaults,” the suit says. It alleges that Diesel then attempted to remove Jonasson’s underwear before she screamed and attempted to get to a nearby bathroom.
“Ms. Jonasson was unable to escape and closed her eyes, scared of angering Vin Diesel by rejecting him further and trying to dissociate, wishing the assault would end,” reads the text of the complaint, adding that she “was frozen in a state of shock and unable to move” until he finally released her.
“No one should be forced to endure sexual assault or lose their job for resisting sexual assault. No one is too famous or powerful to evade justice,” Kutlay said. “We hope Ms. Jonasson’s courageous decision to come forward helps create lasting change and empowers other survivors.”
Shortly after the incident, Diesel’s sister terminated Jonasson’s employment. Despite years of silence due to fear, Jonasson found empowerment in the #MeToo movement, allowing her to file the suit under California’s Sexual Abuse and Cover-Up Accountability Act.
Enacted in September 2022, this law offers a three-year window for survivors to file claims that would typically have expired under the state’s statute of limitations. Jonasson seeks damages, including a $10,000 civil penalty for each violation, along with unspecified compensation for emotional distress and potential lost income resulting from Diesel’s actions.