A longtime associate of Rosario Dawson’s family is suing the actress and her family members, alleging gender discrimination, battery, assault and emotional distress in the months after he came out to them as a transgender man.
Dedrek Finley, 55, came out to the family members in December 2017 while employed by them. In his lawsuit, Finley said he had known the family for roughly 20 years and was persuaded to move from New York to join them in Los Angeles as a full-time employee to renovate and remodel Rosario Dawson’s residence.
The other family members named in the suit are Isabel Dawson, the actress’ mother; Gregory Dawson, her stepfather; and an uncle, Gustavo Vasquez.
Rosario Dawson is the girlfriend of presidential candidate Sen. Cory Booker (D-N.J.). Booker has previously said anti-trans violence should have Americans “concerned and, frankly, outraged.”
In the civil lawsuit, which was filed Friday in a Los Angeles court, Finley alleges that after providing the family with his preferred pronouns, they routinely misidentified him as a woman and responded indifferently to his corrections. At one point, Finley alleges that Rosario Dawson and her mother physically assaulted him after trying to remove him from the North Hollywood property owned by Vasquez where Finley was living rent free in exchange for work.
“The aggression that was shown to him by members of the Dawson family, and the nature of that aggression leads one to think that motivations were transphobic,” attorney Tasha Hill said.
A representative for Rosario Dawson was not immediately available for comment.