Tony T to Request Jury Trial Over Nikki Benz's Allegations
LOS ANGELES — Director Tony T plans on requesting a jury trial over adult star Nikki Benz’s allegations that she had been abused during a BDSM shoot for MindGeek, his attorney disclosed to XBIZ this evening.
Benz claimed in a series of statements on Twitter in December that she had been abused and that her consent had been violated repeatedly during a scene by Tony T.
Raw footage from the set did not back up any of her claims and none of the on-set crew witnessed anything that would corroborate her story, according to Tony T’s attorney, Karen Tynan.
After first promising to explain, Benz refused to speak about the initial claims, Tynan said. Facing a barrage of negative attention in the press, MindGeek terminated Tony’s contract.
“MindGeek’s actions worked to confirm Benz’s claims and further damaged his reputation, leaving him not only without a contract but largely unemployable in the adult industry,” Tynan said.
“With neither Benz nor MindGeek willing to speak publicly about the demonstrably false allegations, Tony has been forced to respond by filing lawsuits against both Benz and MindGeek in order to get the facts on record.”
Tynan said that MindGeek has been served with the suit and that the case is set for a case management conference on May 16 in Los Angeles.
At the hearing, Tynan plans to ask for a two-week jury trial.
Discovery hasn’t started yet in the case, but the trial date should be in early 2018, she said.
The suit targets the adult film actress, as well as MindGeek along with its Brazzers division and 50 John Does, charging libel, infliction of emotional distress and interference with economic advantage.
Tony T directed and produced two shoots involving Benz in December, according to the suit filed at Los Angeles Superior Court. The first involved Benz in a lesbian scene, while the second on the following day featured Benz and Ramon Nomar.
Claims allege Benz did not complain during the second film shoot, but later told a makeup artist she was looking forward to ending a contractual relationship with MindGeek along with Brazzers.
One day after the scene, Benz published an extensive social media feed alleging the assault and implicating Tony T by name as a perpetrator.
“The material initially published on Dec. 20 was repeatedly published by Benz in the days following on a wide variety of social media sites, including but not limited to Twitter and DailyDot2, where she has substantial following of hundreds of thousands,” the suit said.
After Benz's allegations, MindGeek’s Brazzers division released statements such as: “It appears that some of the alleged conduct could have occurred, and we took immediate measure to sever our relationship with the producer in question. Not only have we terminated all existing professional engagements with the producer, but any possibility for any future endeavors with this producer have also been quashed."
The lawsuit alleges that MindGeek and Brazzers “ratified, adopted and repeated these statements without any investigation or viewing of the footage of the video in reckless disregard for the rights and reputations of Tony T.”
“MindGeek and Brazzers terminated their relationship with Tony T, effectively preventing him from continuing with his work for them, and also casting additional aspersions within the industry that affected the ability of Tony T to work,” the suit said.
Tony T's suit seeks unspecified general, special and punitive damages, along with attorneys’ fees and court costs.
MindGeek and Benz did not immediately respond for XBIZ comment this evening.
Pictured: Nikki Benz and Tony T