Vin Diesel accused of sexual battery by former assistant who says he made her feel like 'piece of trash'

22 December 2023, 08:07 | Updated: 22 December 2023, 08:19

Vin Diesel
Vin Diesel. Picture: Getty

By Kit Heren

Vin Diesel has been accused of sexual battery by a former assistant, who says that the abuse took place in 2010.

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Astra Jonasson has claimed that the Fast and Furious actor assaulted her while they were in a hotel room when they were working on the fifth instalment of the action movie franchise.

Jonasson tried to flee the room but he blocked her, groped her and performed a sexual act on himself, the lawsuit claims.

She said that she was fired not long afterwards which made her feel like a "piece of trash" and her self-esteem was "demolished".

Ms Jonasson is bring a lawsuit against Diesel and his company for creating a hostile work environment, negligent supervision and wrongful termination.

Diesel denied the claims, which he called "outlandish" via a lawyer.

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Vin Diesel
Vin Diesel. Picture: Alamy

The lawsuit said: "It was clear to her that she was being fired because she was no longer useful - Vin Diesel had used her to fulfil his sexual desires and she had resisted his sexual assaults."

The legal claim added: "Vin Diesel ignored Ms Jonasson's clear statements of non-consent to his sexual assaults".

Jonasson said that the assault took place after Diesel had spent the night with several women.

Jonasson's lawyer Claire-Lise Kutlay said: "Sexual harassment in the workplace will never stop if powerful men are protected from accountability.

Vin Diesel in May
Vin Diesel in May. Picture: Getty

"We hope her courageous decision to come forward helps create lasting change and empowers other survivors."

Jonasson said she had only brought the lawsuit now because she was "afraid to speak out against one of the world's highest-grossing actors, afraid she would be ostracised from the industry".

The actor is best known for his work on the Fast and Furious franchise films, which have grossed more than $7 billion over the past 22 years.

His lawyer Bryan Freedman said: "Let me be very clear: Vin Diesel categorically denies this claim in its entirety.

He added that there was "clear evidence which completely refutes these outlandish allegations.

"This is the first he has ever heard about this more than 13-year-old claim made by a purportedly 9-day employee."