Dedrek Finley is suing Rosario Dawson and her family for alleged discrimination for being transgender as well as battery and assault

By Alexia Fernandez
October 22, 2019 03:41 PM
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Rosario Dawson is facing some heated allegations.

The actress, 40, and members of her family are being sued for allegedly discriminating against a transgender man, as well as alleged assault, battery, intentional infliction of emotional distress and trespass among other claims, according to filed court documents obtained by PEOPLE.

“The Dawson family is saddened and disappointed by these false and baseless allegations. We look forward to addressing the plaintiff’s claims in court,” Shawn Holley, a lawyer for the Dawson family, tells PEOPLE in a statement.

Deidre Finley, who prefers to go by Dedrek Finley, says in the documents that he was hired by Dawson to move from New York City to Los Angeles to work on renovating her home as a handyman. Finley was offered a place to live, free of rent, at Dawson’s mother’s former home in North Hollywood, he states.

Instead of paying rent, Finley says he agreed to work for Dawson at $25 an hour for the home repairs and cover his own utilities.

However, Finley claimed the atmosphere changed “immediately after” he came out to the Dawson family as a transgender man, according to the lawsuit.

He claims they “misgendered him multiple times each day, with deliberate indifference as to the appropriate way to address” him.

Finley alleges Dawson’s step-father, Gregory, would “scream in Mr. Finley’s face that ‘you’re not a man,’ ‘a man wouldn’t work like this,’ and ‘you only think you’re a man.’”

He claims Dawson was aware of the incidents after he brought them to her attention, but “refused to act to end the abuse,” allegedly telling Finley, “You’re a grown woman.”

Finley alleges that in February of 2018, about two months after he had come out, he was ordered by the family via text message to move out of Isabel’s former apartment.

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When he did not move out, Finley claims Dawson and her mother Isabel arrived outside of the apartment in April 2018 where Isabel allegedly dragged him out of the window of his bedroom and to the ground.

“Once Mr. Finley was lying helpless 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 court documents allege. “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.”

Finley also claims Dawson helped her mother and “sat down on top of Mr. Finley, actively restraining him while he was on the ground to ensure that her mother could continue battering.”

He claims Isabel and Rosario “stomped” on his hand and took his cell phone so he would not be able to call 911. Finley alleges his phone also contained video of previous threats by Isabel against him.

A day following the alleged attack, Finley was granted a temporary restraining order against Isabel after she attempted to move out his belongings, according to the lawsuit.

Finley is seeking damages and trial by jury.