Rosario Dawson, mom accused of transphobic assault against handyman in new lawsuit
A transgender handyman who worked for Rosario Dawson claims the “Rent” star belittled him with transphobic insults and that her mom once beat him up after he came out, according to new reports.
Dedrek Finley, 55, said his relationship with the Dawson family went downhill after he revealed he was transgender, according to his lawsuit filed Friday in Los Angeles court and reported by NBC News.
Finley was known as Deidre when he was first hired by the Dawson clan in Los Angeles in December 2017. He went on to do renovation and remodeling work on Rosario’s “personal residence,” giving him steady work, the suit says.
But after the Beacon, New York native moved into a North Hollywood home rented by the family, he came out — and claims he was immediately subjected to transphobic comments.
“The family misgendered him multiple times each day, with deliberate indifference as to the appropriate way to address Mr. Finley,” his suit says.
He claims Rosario, who is dating Democratic presidential candidate and Sen. Cory Booker, “acted with deliberate indifference and did nothing to correct the situation.”
The family tried to evict Finley in February 2018 but he refused to go, saying the Dawsons had no legal grounds to force him out.
Two months later, things allegedly turned physical between Finley and Rosario’s mother, Isabel Dawson, who is accused of dragging him by his arm out of a window.
As Finley was lying on the ground outside, Isabel, “who is substantially larger than Mr. Finley, got on top of Mr. Finley’s body and began punching him,” the complaint says.
“While beating Mr. Finley, Isabel screamed, ‘You’re not so much of a man now,’ which was a clear and denigrating reference to Mr. Finley’s gender identity.”
Rosario allegedly sat on top of Finley during the beatdown and “actively restrain[ed] him while he was on the ground to ensure that her mother could continue battering him,” the suit says.
Finley’s suit claims Isabel once threatened to kill his cat if he didn’t move out and stole his cellphone which contained videos of threats allegedly made against him.
Following the alleged assault, Finley obtained a restraining order against Isabel, according to his suit.
His lawyer, Tasha Alyssa Hill, told NBC that they tried to resolve the matter with the Dawsons before filing the lawsuit but received no response.
The suit also lists Rosario’s stepfather and uncle as defendants.
Neither reps for Dawson nor the family’s attorney immediately returned messages.
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