Despite Rosario Dawson’s premiere as Ahsoka Tano on Friday’s episode of “The Mandalorian,” there was less attention paid to the Disney+ series and more to claims of transphobia against the actress.
According to Vanity Fair’s story, in a lawsuit filed against her and her family last year, a longstanding family friend accuses them of “anti-trans bigotry,” 41-year-old Dawson responded to queries about the case in an interview published on Monday.
“I just want to express my understanding of the concerns expressed and the concerns still present. If some of those assertions were made to me, I’d be sceptical, too. However, as we’ve seen in recent months and just recently, the truth is emerging. The individual who brought the claims of discrimination has rejected each and every one of the “Dawson made a remark.
What Was the Beginning of It All?
An intergalactic fandom was shattered by a long-standing family feud that made news around the world. It all came to an end last week, quietly and without fanfare, with the departure of everyone involved. A resolution was found in U.S. courtrooms. Rosario Dawson vs. Dedrek Finley has generated a lot of negative attention.
Trans man Finley, who had known Dawson and her family for many years and worked for them in Los Angeles doing household repairs, filed a lawsuit in October 2019 alleging mistreatment and discrimination, including physical assault and anti-trans insults such as deliberate misgendering.
Finley was the plaintiff in the lawsuit. It was a shocking allegation against a well-known LGBTQ+ advocate. Since some well-known personalities’ public images haven’t always mirrored their real-life conduct, many people were eager to hear out the accuser in the #MeToo era.
There was less noise when lawyers began filing motions and submitting evidence and interrogatories in court. Speculation of Dawson being cast as a well-known Star Wars character reignited the controversy in March 2020. Some supporters were thrilled, but others were outraged that Dawson had been recruited when he was still accused of major crimes.
Court documents reveal that the case began to fade away over time. All but two of Finley’s claims were withdrawn by the court last October, and his counsel resigned from the case. Finley wanted to pursue two claims connected to an alleged physical altercation, which he had previously abandoned. To proceed with those, the court requested that he produce additional evidence.
On May 21, a judge threw out Finley’s final remaining claims after he failed to respond to repeated court requests for documentation, answers to questions, and an independent medical examination aimed at reinforcing his claims of mental and physical harm, according to documents obtained from the Los Angeles Superior Court.
With motions totaling hundreds of pages long, it came down to three pages and a single sentence: “The court hereby dismisses the matter.”
Actress Dawson’s rep issued a statement saying that the case collapsed because it was not factual. Because of this ridiculous lawsuit, my family and I are relieved. Even though most claims were voluntarily withdrawn last year—including every single bogus claim of discrimination—the court today dismissed the remaining case allowing us all to move forward,” he wrote.
On the phone number mentioned in court files, Finley didn’t return calls or emails, and he had previously been representing himself.
Direct messages submitted to him on Facebook went unanswered, and a phone call to his publicly posted business line turned up no response. There were no objections from “Finley” in the motion approving Dawson’s request to be dismissed by the court.
The following day, on June 1, Finley sent a lengthy statement to Vanity Fair. He wrote, “My next move is to appeal.”
“It is symbolic not only to the trans community, but to marginalised people everywhere, everyone who has sought to stand and speak truth to power and be heard only to be shut down by money and power,” Finley added. I was deeply moved by the trans community’s outrage over the treatment of a brother. Using the courts and the judicial system to their advantage is not something we will stand for when our people are battered and silenced.”
There were ramifications that extended far beyond the individuals directly implicated in the claims. During this period of increased visibility for transgender persons in their fight for equality, the case received widespread media attention. Star Wars fans were enraged when it was revealed that Dawson would be playing Ahsoka Tano, an iconic lightsaber-wielding role model for young girls and women in the fandom, in the next live-action film.
A personal tragedy was apparent as well. An image of Dawson and Finley, both dressed in paint-spattered work coveralls, was posted by Finley to a website marketing his repair business, and it depicts the tragedy of the case in stark relief.
In her statement, Dawson brought up their prior closeness. In her letter, she added, “That these false accusations came from someone we’ve known as chosen family for decades and who we were trying so hard to help out, as we have many times in the past, was very sad.” Although we have immense sympathy for him, we’ve always wished him the best of luck.
Finley claimed in his lawsuit that he had known the Dawsons for about two decades, according to his own narrative. While moving from New York to Los Angeles a few years ago, Finley said that Dawson and her family provided him with housing, a job, and money to help with the transition. Finley came out to them about his gender transition at about the same time.