LONDON: During the filming of Fast Five in 2010, Asta Jonasson, a former personal assistant to US actor Vin Diesel, filed a lawsuit in Los Angeles accusing the Fast & Furious star, whose real name is Mark Sinclair, of sexual assault.
The lawsuit alleges that Sinclair, aged 56, assaulted Jonasson at Atlanta’s St Regis hotel, where he allegedly pinned her to a wall and engaged in a sexual act without her consent. Jonasson further claims wrongful termination, stating that she was fired from Sinclair’s company shortly after the incident.
The lawsuit includes allegations against Samantha Vincent, Sinclair’s sister who manages his production company, One Race Films, suggesting her involvement in Jonasson’s termination. As of now, there hasn’t been a response from Ms. Vincent regarding these allegations.
“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,” the suit alleges.
It adds: “Ms Jonasson felt helpless, her self esteem was demolished, and she questioned her own skills and whether a successful career would require her to trade her body for advancement.”
The ex-assistant alleges that a different company executive made advances toward her at the same hotel shortly before the incident involving Mr. Sinclair. Her legal action covers claims of sexual misconduct, gender bias, unlawful retaliation, emotional trauma, and wrongful dismissal.
Bryan Freedman, representing Mr. Sinclair, issued a written statement to CNN, asserting, “Vin Diesel vehemently denies these allegations in their entirety. This is the first instance he’s been made aware of this accusation, which dates back over 13 years, supposedly by an employee of just nine days.”
Representing Ms. Jonasson, lawyer Claire-Lise Kutlay conveyed to BBC News, “Our client aims to hold Vin Diesel and those who permitted and concealed his assault accountable for their reprehensible behavior. We trust her brave step in speaking out will bring about enduring change and embolden other survivors.”
Vin Diesel, recognized for his roles in the Fast & Furious franchise, Guardians of the Galaxy, XXX, and Riddick, is a prominent figure in Hollywood. Similarly, Mr. Sinclair serves as a producer for the Fast & Furious series and stands as one of the most commercially successful actors in the industry.