Danny Elfman Sexual Abuse Accuser Sues Composer For Defamation

July 11, 2024
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Film composer Danny Elfman was sued for defamation on Wednesday over statements he made to Rolling Stone last year in an article detailing sexual harassment allegations leveled against him and a subsequent settlement and nondisclosure agreement to keep the claims private.

Los Angeles composer Nomi Abadi’s defamation suit — filed in Los Angeles — comes a year after a Rolling Stone investigation first revealed her allegations that Elfman exposed himself and sexually harassed her in 2016, before she and Elfman entered into an $830,000 settlement and NDA a year later. Abadi filed a breach of contract lawsuit regarding the settlement last July, alleging that Elfman had missed several payments. The matter was placed into arbitration late last year. In a filing earlier this month, lawyers for Abadi claimed the arbitration had not yet been scheduled, despite several attempts to work with Elfman’s lawyers to find a date. 

“Defendant Danny Elfman peddled appalling lies for publication to Rolling Stone about Nomi, who had previously in an earlier lawsuit truthfully relayed facts corroborating his penchant to sexually abuse women,” the suit said. “Why? As part of a harebrained ‘zero sum’ scheme by Elfman to prop up his checkered reputation by destroying Nomi’s credibility.” (A lawyer for Elfman did not immediately return Rolling Stone‘s request for comment.)

Rolling Stone‘s initial investigation included allegations that Abadi had confided in multiple friends as well as detailed in a police report. She alleged that Elfman had exposed himself and masturbated in front of Abadi multiple times, that he took naked photos of her in a hotel room in Paris, and that he presented her a martini glass filled with what she said Elfman told her was semen. In an extensive statement at the time, Elfman denied ever exposing himself and masturbating in front of Abadi, denied that he ever said the glass contained semen, and claimed that Abadi was the one who requested the photo shoot.

In his statement, Elfman said that he “allowed someone to get close to me without knowing that I was her ‘childhood crush’ and that her intention was to break up my marriage and replace my wife. When this person realized that I wanted distance from her, she made it clear that I would pay for having rejected her,” he said.

In the defamation suit, Abadi alleges Elfman defamed her not only by denying all the various misconduct allegations but also for falsely portraying her as “a failed temptress who lied about him for reasons of revenge and greed.”

Abadi also alleges that Elfman defamed her by stating that she had pushed for the nude photos. In a response last year, a rep for Elfman said Abadi “disrobed almost immediately without any encouragement.” In the suit, Abadi claimed that Elfman “coerced” her into taking the pictures. Most notably, in the complaint Abadi alleged that during the photo shoot, while Elfman had his hand on his penis, he “grabbed Nomi by the wrist with his other hand, jamming her hand onto her genitals,” and instructed her to masturbate as well.

“Nomi was terrified, frozen, and pretended to appease Defendant Elfman,” the suit said, adding that Elfman “instructed Nomi ‘not to tell anyone about Paris’ or she would be ‘dead meat.’” The suit further alleged that Elfman later apologized and that he “blamed it on losing control, stating that ‘something had gotten into him.’”

Abadi’s final defamation claim revolves around the alleged incident with the martini glass. Elfman first sent a photo of the glass to Abadi in an email, captioning it as a “mystery pik [sic] to pique your ‘imagination.’” Per the police report Abadi filed, she alleged that Elfman told her the glass was filled with semen. A representative for Elfman said the glass actually contained the skin care product Cetaphil. Abadi alleges that Elfman defamed her not only by denying that the martini glass was filled with semen but by further claiming that Abadi knew it wasn’t.

Abadi’s suit includes an extensive description of her alleged history with Elfman, with Abadi alleging that when she was presented with the glass, she “sat in silence, terrified, gagging from the putrid smell coming from the glass of white substance.”

Abadi is asking for unspecified monetary and punitive damages to be determined by the court.

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“Defendant Elfman lied about Nomi, branding her as a scorned woman attempting to break up his marriage, and as someone who initiated nude photography,” the suit says. “As a result of Elfman and his representatives’ defamations, Nomi has suffered humiliation, both personally and professionally, within their shared composing industry, and online, and harm to her professional reputation and her occupation as a composer, musician, and educator.”

Abadi isn’t the only woman who has come forward with misconduct claims against Elfman. Three months after Rolling Stone’s initial story, A second anonymous woman came forward with similar sexual harassment claims of her own. “It’s important to this Jane Doe that Nomi knows she’s not alone anymore, that what was done to her by Elfman mirrors in so many ways what was done to Nomi,” Attorney Jeff Anderson, who represents both Abadi and the anonymous woman, said at the time.Elfman denied those allegations as well, saying the suit was filed “for the improper purpose of embarrassing Mr. Elfman and extorting settlement money.”



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