A new lawsuit claims Mötley Crüe drummer Tommy Lee sexually assaulted a woman in the cockpit of a helicopter after she was “lured” onto the chopper by the musician’s private pilot.
In the complaint filed Friday in Los Angeles, the Jane Doe plaintiff accuses Lee of “forcibly groping, kissing and penetrating her with his fingers, and attempting to force her to perform oral copulation” during the 40-minute trip from San Diego County to Van Nuys, California, in February 2003.
The new lawsuit, obtained by Rolling Stone, states the woman met the pilot, identified as David Martz, around early 2002 when he patronized the San Diego bank where she was working as a teller. The two struck up a friendship and would occasionally meet for lunch at a restaurant called Casa Machado, the filing claims. Martz invited the woman to ride in his helicopter, but she was hesitant at first because she had never ridden in one before, the lawsuit states. Eventually, the woman agreed, and in early 2003, she met Martz at an airfield for what she thought would be a sightseeing trip around San Diego County, she says. Upon arrival, the woman claims she was told there was a last-minute change of plans and she and Martz would be flying Lee up to Los Angeles instead.
“Within a matter of minutes of being airborne, Martz pulled out alcohol he had stored in the helicopter and began to mix drinks,” the complaint alleges. The woman says Martz handed her a drink that she did not consume. She claims Martz and Lee drank, smoked marijuana, and snorted cocaine during the flight. At one point, Martz asked her through the helicopter’s headphone system why she was not drinking and stated that she should ‘just relax,’” the lawsuit alleges.
The woman claims Martz eventually ordered her up to the cockpit to sit on Lee’s lap to get the best view. Feeling “immense pressure,” she acquiesced, the filing states. Almost immediately, Lee began groping and kissing her, she claims, and when she attempted to pull away, “he only became more forceful.”
“At one point, Lee penetrated plaintiff with his fingers while fondling her breasts. Lee then pulled down his pants and attempted to force plaintiff’s head toward his genitals. By this point, plaintiff was in tears, but she had nowhere to go — she was trapped with little mobility to leave the cockpit,” the lawsuit alleges. The woman claims Martz “merely watched” the alleged assault and said nothing to her as they flew back to San Diego after dropping Lee in Van Nuys.
The plaintiff says she had no contact with Martz for several years but spoke to him by phone in June 2009 when he called to catch up. The conversation was very short, and then Martz died in a Cessna accident in August 2015, the filing states.
The woman says the alleged attack caused her “great shock, distress, humiliation, shame and guilt,” and that she didn’t report it because she believed it was an isolated event and that police wouldn’t take her seriously. She now believes Martz and Lee “had a history of engaging in indecent and illegal conduct on Martz’s helicopter,” the lawsuit says.
The complaint, filed by lawyers Neville Johnson, Douglas Johnson, and Melissa Eubanks, alleges sexual assault, gender violence , intentional infliction of emotional distress and negligence. In addition to Lee, it names Mayhem Touring, Tommy Lee Inc., A Natural High Helicopters and Social Helicopters as defendants. The woman is seeking past, present, and future damages, including but not limited to medical expenses, loss of earnings, and loss of earnings capacity.
Attempts to reach a representative for Lee were not immediately successful Friday evening.
The new lawsuit isn’t the first instance of Martz facing allegations of flying under the influence. The Associated Press reported in 2009 that the pilot was detained on suspicion of DUI after he allegedly flew too close to a police helicopter and failed to follow directions given to him by the Van Nuys Airport flight tower. He was released without arrest after a sobriety test was inconclusive.
After Martz died in 2015, the Los Angeles Times reported that he’d lost his pilot’s license three times in the past, with one of the revocations resulting from allegations he had oral sex with an adult film star while flying a helicopter. The pilot was charged with reckless operation of an aircraft in 2006 after he landed a helicopter on a public street in the Hollywood Hills to pick up Lee for a Nine Inch Nails concert, The Times reported.