Oscar-nominated composer Danny Elfman is denying allegations from a woman who accused him of sexual abuse from 1997 to 2002. He claims that the lawsuit was “maliciously filed” for the “purpose of embarrassing him” with the goal of extorting settlement money.
In October, a 47-year-old woman in Maryland came forward with accusations against Elfman that the Grammy winner groomed and assaulted her when she was a student at the New York Film Academy. She sued Elfman, who was 47 at the time of the alleged incident, and his company, Musica de la Muerta, in Los Angeles Superior Court for sexual assault, gender violence, intentional infliction of emotional distress, sexual harassment and negligence. The lawsuit from the Jane Doe plaintiff mirrored allegations from composer Nomi Abadi, who claimed in July that Elfman failed to pay part of a settlement reached in 2018 to resolve a similar case.
Elfman on Monday claimed that he “committed no sexual abuse, made no inappropriate advances and never inappropriately touched” his accuser.
“Recognizing that her absurd allegations would carry no weight in a court of law, Plaintiff and her attorneys chose to embark on a disinformation campaign, providing her dishonest Complaint to the media days before it was filed with the Court or became publicly available on the Court’s docket,” wrote Camille Vasquez, a lawyer for Elfman.
In response to sexual assault allegations, lawyers for the accused often maintain that their clients were approached in advance of a lawsuit being filed in an attempt to extort money. Marty Singer, who represented Bill Cosby in a lawsuit from Judy Huth, made a similar argument.
The complaint from Elfman’s accuser revolved around accusations that the composer “removed all of his clothing until he was completely nude and walked around nude in front of Plaintiff, exposing his genitals.” She said Elfman told her in 2002, “Every time you have ever slept next to me, I would masturbate next to you.”
According to the filing, Elfman also claimed that the conduct alleged in the complaint “would not constitute a sexual assault” even if it were true. He argued, “Plaintiff’s Complaint specifically states that she was an adult at the time of the alleged conduct. Nor does the Complaint allege a single instance of Mr. Elfman touching Plaintiff in an unlawful or inappropriate manner, because he never did so.”
Michael Reck, a lawyer for Elfman, did not immediately respond to The Music news‘s request for comment.
Elfman most recently appeared at The Hollywood Bowl in October as part of Disney’s “Tim Burton’s The Nightmare Before Christmas in Concert.”