The Voice's Jordan Pruitt Sues Disney and Her Former Manager Whom She Says Abused Her as a Teen
The Voice singer Jordan Pruitt is suing her former label, Hollywood Records, its parent company, the Walt Disney Co., and her former manager, whom she says molested her — with the abuse beginning when she was just 14 years old.
Pruitt spoke out about the lawsuit on social media, explaining that “3 weeks ago as ‘Jane Doe’ I filed a lawsuit against my molester and those who enabled him.”
“No more Jane Doe. I am Jordan Pruitt,” the musician wrote alongside a somber photo of herself looking out of a window.
According to court documents obtained by PEOPLE, Pruitt, who filed the complaint on Aug. 30 after originally filing earlier that month using pseudonyms, named her abuser as producer and songwriter Keith Thomas.
Pruitt, Thomas, Disney and Hollywood Records did not immediately respond to PEOPLE’s request for comment.
Pruitt is suing Hollywood Records and Disney for failing to “prevent” the abuse “from occurring.”
The lawsuit alleges that the label encouraged her to work with Thomas as her mentor and producer and allowed him to be “unsupervised” when with her.
In addition, Pruitt claims in the suit that Thomas was very controlling when it came to her career. He forbade her from communicating with boys her age, “deleting male contacts from her cell phone,” the lawsuit states.
Thomas allegedly also controlled “the bookings, studio sessions, tour schedules, public relations schedules and media requests.”
Pruitt claims in the lawsuit that Thomas would spew hurtful comments about her “weight, looks, voice, songwriting ability, maturity and intelligence.”
“The beating-down process was soon repeatedly followed by a period of incredible showering of attention, compliments, flirting touching and assurances that Thomas ‘loved [Pruitt].'”
The alleged abuse began when Pruitt was 14 and didn’t stop until right before her 16th birthday, she claims in the lawsuit. She alleges Thomas took her virginity.
Pruitt also alleges in the court documents that she was “drugged and anally penetrated” by Thomas. She says in the lawsuit that the alleged abuse occurred at the Staples Center, on sound stages at the Warner Bros. lot, in artists’ trailers, hotel rooms and parked cars.
Pruitt explains in the lawsuit that Thomas allegedly told her “their love was a secret.”
Pruitt slammed Hollywood Records and Disney in a statement to Variety, “Unfortunately, these large companies are primarily concerned with sales, money and charts. Too often they fall short of protecting the young talent that they are ‘supposed’ to be caretakers for. Time and time again we see people in positions of power fail us. I couldn’t be more disappointed in how Disney treats their underage talent like cash cows.”
Pruitt signed with Hollywood Records in 2005. While under contract, she released two albums: No Ordinary Girl (2007) and Permission to Fly (2008). Pruitt appeared on season three of The Voice.
“I am standing up and speaking out not only for myself, but for the countless victims across the world, who have never been given the opportunity for justice,” Pruitt told Variety. “It is extremely taboo for anyone to speak about sexual abuse, misconduct and exploitation of minors in the ordinarily conservative and genteel South. Over and above decorum, many fear the repercussions of coming forward for example (getting blacklisted from the industry, losing work, having YOUR reputation tarnished). Too many victims, coming forward feel shameful. Even though the #metoo movement has been very powerful for many, there is still much work that needs to be done. No one should ever be punished for telling the truth and seeking justice, period.”
Pruitt’s attorney Keith Davidson tells PEOPLE, “Jordan Pruitt, like far too many child stars, was exploited by the very people who should have been protecting her.”
“Jordan’s innocence was robbed from her as she was systematically groomed, molested and controlled by a predator employed by Disney, a company that sells happiness to children. Disney had a duty to protect Jordan from Keith Thomas and failed at every step.”
“Jordan can never get back the innocence that was stolen from her, nor can she erase the trauma of this tragedy, but she is committed to making sure no other young women fall victim to child predators employed and protected by one of the largest entertainment corporations in the world. Jordan is brave to find courage to come forward to take on such a large conglomerate. She like so many victim with their own #metoo story must be supported. I am honored to represent Jordan.”
Jordan previously spoke out about the alleged abuse in December of last year but did not name Thomas.
“At fifteen this person had brainwashed me into thinking that the things that were happening were ‘natural and ‘okay,'” Pruitt wrote in a Facebook post, which has since been hidden from the public, according to USA Today. “While I will spare you any of the mind-piercing details, I can honestly and unfortunately say that this man sexually abused me for almost two years of my life. I am a victim of child molestation because of him.”
If you or someone you know has been sexually assaulted, please contact the National Sexual Assault Hotline at 1-800-656-HOPE (4673) or go to online.rainn.org.