Vin Diesel accused of sexual battery by former assistant – who says he sacked her hours later

Entertainment

Fast And Furious star Vin Diesel has been accused of sexual battery by his former assistant while working for him in 2010.

Astra Jonasson alleges the actor forced himself on her in a hotel suite in Atlanta, while the pair were working on Fast Five.

Her lawsuit claims she tried to escape the room after Diesel forced her onto his bed, but the actor groped her and performed a sex act on himself.

She alleges she was fired from her job just hours later – and felt like she was a “piece of trash” with her self-esteem “demolished”.

Diesel’s representatives have not yet responded to requests 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 and she had resisted his sexual assaults,” the lawsuit claims.

Ms Jonasson alleges the incident happened after Diesel had spent a night entertaining multiple women in his hotel suite.

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“Vin Diesel ignored Ms Jonasson’s clear statements of non-consent to his sexual assaults,” the lawsuit reads.

Ms Jonasson remained silent for years “afraid to speak out against one of the world’s highest-grossing actors, afraid she would be ostracised from the industry”, her lawyers claim.

“Sexual harassment in the workplace will never stop if powerful men are protected from accountability,” Ms Jonasson’s lawyer, Claire-Lise Kutlay, said in a statement.

“We hope her courageous decision to come forward helps create lasting change and empowers other survivors.”

Ms Jonasson is suing Diesel and his company for creating a hostile work environment, negligent supervision and wrongful termination, among her other claims.

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She is one of many women to accuse prominent figures in the entertainment industry of sexual misconduct since the #MeToo movement began in 2017, following revelations around disgraced movie producer Harvey Weinstein.

Diesel has starred as Dominic Toretto since the Fast And Furious franchise’s first film in 2001.

The movies have become huge money-spinners at the domestic and international box office, with the past two films each making more than $1bn (£788m).

The franchise’s tenth instalment, Fast X, which features Diesel, opened with $67.5m (£53.2m) in ticket sales earlier this year.

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