Rosario Dawson and her family sued over alleged transphobic assault

A transgender man alleges that actor Rosario Dawson and her family subjected him to transphobic harassment and violent abuse, according to a suit filed in a Los Angeles court.

Dawson, 40, is the girlfriend of Democratic presidential candidate Sen. Cory Booker of New Jersey.

The suit, filed Friday, alleges that Dawson and three members of her family violated Dedrek Finley’s civil rights by discriminating against him for his transgender status. The suit seeks damages for that as well as battery, assault, emotional distress and several other allegations.

Neither the family’s lawyer, Alan Kossoff, nor representatives for Rosario Dawson immediately responded to NBC News’ request for comment.

According to the suit, Finley, 55, moved from Beacon, New York, to Los Angeles in December 2017 to work as a handyman for the Dawson family and "renovate and remodel Rosario's personal residence," which promised him consistent work. He later moved into a North Hollywood home rented by the family and soon after came out to them as transgender, telling the family that he would now be known as Dedrek and use he/him pronouns.

Immediately after Finely 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 the fact that Finley had come out as transgender to the family.

The suit alleges that in February of last year, just months after coming out, Finley was ordered to move out but refused to because there was no legal grounds for his eviction.

On April 28, 2018, Finley alleges that the family worked together to assault him. Isabel Dawson, Rosario’s mother, allegedly dragged Finley by his arm out of a window and then attacked him.

Related: Rosario Dawson out and about

17 PHOTOS
Rosario Dawson out and about
See Gallery
Rosario Dawson out and about
LOS ANGELES, CA - APRIL 05: Actress Rosario Dawson arrives at the premiere Of Paladin and Great Point Media's 'Krystal' at the Arclight Theatre on April 5, 2018 in Los Angeles, California. (Photo by Kevin Winter/Getty Images)
LOS ANGELES, CA - MARCH 03: Rosario Dawson attends MAISON-DE-MODE celebration of sustainable style by honoring Suzy Amis Cameron of Red Carpet Green Dress at Sunset Tower on March 3, 2018 in Los Angeles, California. (Photo by Tibrina Hobson/Getty Images)
LOS ANGELES, CA - FEBRUARY 28: Rosario Dawson attends Alfre Woodard and Morgan Stanley present the 9th Annual Oscar's Sistahs Soiree on February 28, 2018 in Los Angeles, California. (Photo by Gabriel Olsen/WireImage,)
LOS ANGELES, CA - FEBRUARY 02: Actress Rosario Dawson honored with The Social Justice Filming In Italy Award at Italian Cultural Institute on February 2, 2018 in Los Angeles, California. (Photo by Rodin Eckenroth/Getty Images)
HOLLYWOOD, CA - FEBRUARY 20: Rosario Dawson at will.i.am's i.am.angel Foundation TRANS4M 2018 Gala, Honoring Sean Parker, Chairman, Parker Institute for Cancer Immunotherapy at Milk Studios on February 20, 2018 in Hollywood, California. (Photo by Kevork Djansezian/Getty Images for i.am.angel Foundation)
SANTA MONICA, CA - FEBRUARY 17: Actress Rosario Dawson attends the 20th Anniversary of V-Day at The Broad Stage on February 17, 2018 in Santa Monica, California. (Photo by Rodin Eckenroth/Getty Images)
BEVERLY HILLS, CA - OCTOBER 11: Rosario Dawson arrives at the What Goes Around Comes Around One Year Anniversary at What Goes Around Comes Around on October 11, 2017 in Beverly Hills, California. (Photo by Steve Granitz/WireImage)
BEVERLY HILLS, CA - OCTOBER 20: Actress Rosario Dawson attends the 2017 GLSEN Respect Awards at the Beverly Wilshire Four Seasons Hotel on October 20, 2017 in Beverly Hills, California. (Photo by Jason LaVeris/FilmMagic)
BEVERLY HILLS, CA - OCTOBER 11: Co-founders of What Goes Around Comes Around Seth Weisser (L) and Gerard Maione (R) and Rosario Dawson at What Goes Around Comes Around Beverly Hills Anniversary on October 11, 2017 in Beverly Hills, California. (Photo by Donato Sardella/Getty Images for What Goes Around Comes Around)
NEW YORK, NY - SEPTEMBER 11: Actress Rosario Dawson is seen arriving to Anna Sui fashion show during New York Fashion Week: The Shows at Gallery 1, Skylight Clarkson Sq on September 11, 2017 in New York City. (Photo by Gilbert Carrasquillo/GC Images)
NEW YORK, NY - SEPTEMBER 11: Actress Laura Gomez attends Studio 189 By Rosario Dawson and Abrima Erwiah during New York Fashion Week: Style360 at Metropolitan Pavilion on September 11, 2017 in New York City. (Photo by Mark Sagliocco/WireImage)
LOS ANGELES, CA - JUNE 02: Actress Rosario Dawson attends 'Super Deluxe and Sarah Ramos present a live reading of City Girl' on June 2, 2017 in Los Angeles, California. (Photo by Emma McIntyre/Getty Images)
NEW YORK, NY - MAY 25: Rosario Dawson attends 'Like One Of Your French Girls' book signing - release party at The New York Edition Hotel on May 25, 2017 in New York City. (Photo by Chance Yeh/Getty Images)
NEW YORK, NY - MAY 24: Actress Rosario Dawson leaves the 'AOL Build' taping at the AOL Studios on May 24, 2017 in New York City. (Photo by Raymond Hall/GC Images)
NEW YORK, NY - MAY 24: Rosario Dawson visits the Build Series to discuss her work with the Lower Eastside Girls Club at Build Studio on May 24, 2017 in New York City. (Photo by Dia Dipasupil/Getty Images)
NEW YORK - MAY 24: Rosario Dawson seen out in Manhattan on May 24, 2017 in New York, New York. (Photo by Josiah Kamau/BuzzFoto via Getty Images)
NEW YORK, NY - APRIL 20: Actress Rosario Dawson enters the 'The Late Show With Stephen Colbert' taping at the Ed Sullivan Theater on April 20, 2017 in New York City. (Photo by Ray Tamarra/GC Images)
HIDE CAPTION
SHOW CAPTION
of
SEE ALL
BACK TO SLIDE

“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 states. “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.”

The suit alleges Rosario Dawson assisted in the assault by sitting on top of him and “actively restraining him while he was on the ground to ensure that her mother could continue battering him.”

Isabel Dawson also allegedly threatened to kill Finley’s cat if he did not move out and stomped on his hand during the attack and stole his cellphone, which Finley alleges contains video of the previous threats made against him.

A day after the alleged attack, Finley was granted a temporary restraining order against Isabel Dawson, according to the suit.

Tasha Alyssa Hill, an attorney representing Finley, told NBC News that her client had no choice but to sue the Dawson family.

“As his attorney, we have reached out numerous times to the Dawson family attorney seeking to resolve this before having to file suit,” Hill stated. She said after receiving no response The suit was filed last week before the statute of limitations expired.

Hill affirmed the lawsuit’s allegation that the Dawson family’s treatment of Finley was due to his gender identity.

“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,” Hill said. “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.

Hill said her client just wants wants “just and fair.”

“He just wants to get some sort of compensation, so he can get back on track with his life so he can put this incident behind him,” Hills said.

Follow NBC Out on TwitterFacebook & Instagram 

Read Full Story