Vin Diesel: Film star accused of sexual battery by ex-assistant

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By Max Matza
BBC News

US actor Vin Diesel’s former personal assistant is suing the Fast & Furious star, accusing him of sexual battery during the 2010 filming of Fast Five.

Representatives for the actor, real name Mark Sinclair, did not respond to a BBC request for comment.

Asta Jonasson claims in the lawsuit that the actor pinned her to a wall as he performed a sex act on himself.

She is further suing for wrongful termination, claiming his company fired her hours after the alleged attack.

Ms Jonasson’s lawsuit, which was filed in Los Angeles on Thursday, alleges that the sexual battery took place in Atlanta’s St Regis hotel during the filming of Fast Five.

She says in the lawsuit that Mr Sinclair, 56, physically overpowered her in his hotel suite and “ignored Ms Jonasson’s clear statements of non-consent” as he groped her.

The lawsuit alleges that after she “screamed and ran towards the nearby bathroom”, the film star “pinned her against the wall with his body” and performed a sex act on himself.

“Mere hours” after the incident, the lawsuit says that she was contacted by the actor’s sister Samantha Vincent – who runs his production company One Race Films – and was fired.

She is also suing the actor’s sister and his production company.

Ms Vincent did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

“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 former assistant also claims that another executive from the company propositioned her in the same hotel a few days before the incident with Mr Sinclair.

In addition to sexual battery, her lawsuit includes claims of gender discrimination, illegal retaliation, emotional distress and wrongful termination.

A lawyer for Ms Jonasson said in a statement to BBC News that her client “seeks to hold Vin Diesel and those who allowed and covered up his sexual assault accountable for their egregious actions”.

“We hope her courageous decision to come forward helps create lasting change and empowers other survivors,” said lawyer Claire-Lise Kutlay.

In addition to the Fast & Furious franchise, Vin Diesel is known for films including Guardians of the Galaxy, XXX and Riddick.

Mr Sinclair is also a producer for the Fast & Furious series and is one of the highest grossing actors in Hollywood.

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