Chris D’Elia only recently returned to the spotlight, but he’s already facing serious accusations once again.
As you may recall, the comedian’s career came to a screeching halt when he faced allegations of sexual misconduct, most notably for grooming and soliciting photos from underage girls. D’Elia maintained that all of his relationships were legal and consensual (and that he never knowingly communicated with anyone underage), but he was dropped from his agency and removed from several high-profile projects as a result of the scandal.
After eight months away from social media, the You alum returned last month to own up to some of his misbehavior, saying s*x “controlled” his life. However, he continued to claim that his actions, though perhaps unethical, were legal and consensual.
Now, a new lawsuit will challenge those claims. A woman identified as “Jane Doe” is suing D’Elia for violating federal child pornography and child sexual exploitation laws, including soliciting more than 100 sexually explicit photos and videos, according to the LA Times.
The lawsuit alleged the misconduct occurred over a period of four months in late 2014/early 2015, beginning when Jane Doe was 17 and the actor was 34. D’Elia was apparently aware of her age, and even allegedly commented on one of her high school “spirit day” Instagram posts.
Per the LA Times, the suit stated:
“ constructed a manipulative, controlling, and abusive dynamic in which he demanded Ms. Doe provide him sexually explicit images of herself over the internet, directed her what specific sexual poses and acts she should perform for him, and psychologically punished her when she refused.”
The legal filing also described an in-person, physical encounter between the two before one of his shows in Connecticut (where the age of consent is 16). Before the show, he allegedly “lured her to his hotel room … separated her from her friends, and took advantage of her youth and inexperience to have s*x with her.” Jane Doe claimed she repeatedly told D’Elia that she was 17, and had never had s*x before. According to a statement from her attorneys:
“At the time, and subsequently, Mr. D’Elia expressed that Ms. Doe’s age, innocence, and virginity made the encounter ‘hot.’”
Doe released her own statement through her attorneys, saying:
“When I was in my final year of high school and still a child, I was groomed by a celebrity twice my age. Chris D’Elia abused his status and fame to lure me in, take advantage, and manipulate me when I was at a vulnerable age. I want any other girls out there to know that they are not alone, and it is time to get justice for the mental and physical toll he has put us through.”
After news broke of the lawsuit, a representative for the 40-year-old shared:
“Chris denies these allegations and will vigorously defend against them in court.”
The timing of Chris’s recent “apology” video — which does not address the allegations relating to underage girls, beyond stating his relationships were “consensual and legal” — coming so soon before the lawsuit dropped does feel a tad suspicious. It now seems like he was trying to get ahead of the story.
We can only hope that the truth will come out in court and justice will be served fairly in this case.
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