Cory Booker’s Girlfriend, Rosario Dawson, Being Sued Over Allegedly Participating in Transphobic Physical Attack on Former Employee
Actress Rosario Dawson, the girlfriend of 2020 Democrat presidential candidate Cory Booker is being sued over an alleged transphobic physical assault on an employee.
Dawson, 40, and three members of her family are accused of attacking Dedrek Finley, a transgender man, in a lawsuit filed on Friday.
Finley, 55, claims that they moved to New York in 2017 to work as a handyman for Dawson’s family, which included renovating and remodeling “Rosario’s personal residence.” Shortly after, they moved to California to a home owned by the Dawsons and came out as transgender.
NBC News reports “immediately after Finley came out as transgender, ‘the family misgendered him multiple times each day, with deliberate indifference as to the appropriate way to address Mr. Finley,’ the suit claims. Rosario Dawson, ‘acted with deliberate indifference and did nothing to correct the situation.'”
“Instead, in response to Mr. Finley’s complaints, Rosario would respond to Mr. Finley, ‘You’re a grown woman,’” despite being asked to be referred to as a man. Eventually, the Dawson family attempted to evict Finley, which lead to a battle over whether or not they had grounds to do so.
On April 28, 2018, the suit claims that multiple members of the Dawson family, including Rosario, participated in a violent attack on Finley. The suit says that Isabel Dawson, Rosario’s mother, dragged them through a window and began physically assaulting them.
“Once Mr. Finley was lying helpless on the ground outside, Isabel, who is substantially larger than Mr. Finley, got on top of Mr. Finley’s body and began punching him,” the suit says. “While beating Mr. Finley, Isabel screamed, ‘You’re not so much of a man now,’ which was a clear and denigrating reference to Mr. Finley’s gender identity.”
Finley goes on to claim that Rosario sat on top of him while the beat down took place and was “actively restraining him while he was on the ground to ensure that her mother could continue battering him.”
Finley also claims that Rosario’s mother threatened to kill their cat if they did not move out and stole a cellphone that contained recordings of previous abuse.
The day after the alleged attack, Finley was granted a restraining order against Dawson’s mother.
“Mr. Finley had a good relationship with the family, did work with them in New York and had a good enough relationship that they invited him to California and offered him a living situation and a full time working situation for the family,” Tasha Alyssa Hill, an attorney representing Finley, told NBC News. “When they did that, they knew him as a lesbian woman.”
“When he came out to California and decided to come out to them as a transgender man, that’s when things started going south,” Hill added.