Film composer Danny Elfman has denied allegations from a woman who claimed that he sexually harassed her over 20 years ago, stating that the claims were “meritless” and “would carry no weight in a court of law.”
In Elfman’s answer to the anonymous Jane Doe accuser’s allegations, filed in Los Angeles Court on Monday, Elfman and his legal team claimed that the suit “was maliciously filed by Plaintiff and her attorneys, without any valid basis in fact or law, for the improper purpose of embarrassing Mr. Elfman and extorting settlement money.
Elfman’s attorney, Camille Vasquez, accused Doe and her attorneys of “embark[ing] on a disinformation campaign.” “By publicizing her allegations and using provocative, but untrue, buzzwords throughout her pleading, Plaintiff all but guaranteed widespread, salacious press coverage that was certain to damage Mr. Elfman, notwithstanding the meritless nature of her claims,” they wrote.
The response comes about two weeks after the Jane Doe accuser came forward with her allegations in the initial suit, claiming that Elfman frequently exposed himself to her and that he allegedly told her that he masturbated next to her while she was asleep and couldn’t consent to the act. The allegations are similar to those from Los Angeles composer Nomi Abadi, who entered an $830,000 settlement and non-disclosure agreement with Elfman over the allegations in 2017, as Rolling Stone reported in July. The Jane Doe plaintiff said in the suit that she decided to come forward after reading the initial Rolling Stone article. (An attorney representing Abadi and the Jane Doe accuser didn’t respond to request for comment.)
In the suit, the plaintiff alleged that Elfman exposed himself to her for the first time in the late 1990s, when they were in Elfman’s hotel room at the Mercer Hotel in New York. Elfman allegedly “coerced Plaintiff to take her clothing off and stand naked with him in front of the open windows in full view of the public,” the suit alleged.
The plaintiff claimed he exposed himself every time they’d see each other after that, adding in the suit that she “felt uncomfortable but did not say anything because she did not want to risk losing [Elfman] as a friend and mentor, given what she perceived to be a very lucky position she was in, as a consultant for his work and protégé.”
The woman also claimed she’d slept in the same bed as Elfman on numerous occasions, but that she kept her clothes on and slept above the sheets while Elfman was naked beside her. The plaintiff claimed that her friendship with Elfman ended in 2002 after he allegedly told her that he masturbated next to her every time she slept next to him. The official causes of action in the initial suit included sexual assault, negligence and sexual harassment. Along with Elfman, his company Musica De La Muerte was listed as a defendant.
Elfman’s team issued a general denial to all the claims, specifically denying that he’d ever masturbated in front of the plaintiff, or that the plaintiff had ever been a “protegé” to Elfman. They also once again denied Abadi’s claims, which were referenced in the complaint.
“Defendants specifically deny the salacious and absurd allegations in the Complaint that Mr. Elfman “groomed” and sexually abused Plaintiff,” Vasquez wrote. “Plaintiff’s Complaint specifically states that she was an adult at the time of the conduct alleged. Nor does the Complaint allege a single instance of Mr. Elfman touching Plaintiff in an unlawful or inappropriate manner, because he never did so. The Complaint fails to allege conduct that constitutes a sexual assault, and no sexual assault ever occurred.”