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Vin Diesel accused of sexual battery in lawsuit brought by former assistant

By Dan Heching and Cheri Mossburg, CNN

(CNN) — “Fast & Furious” franchise star Vin Diesel has been accused of sexual battery and creating a hostile work environment in a lawsuit filed by a former assistant.

The civil suit, filed on Thursday in Los Angeles Superior Court and obtained by CNN, stems from a 2010 incident in which Diesel’s former assistant, Asta Jonasson, alleges Diesel forced himself on her in a hotel suite in Atlanta and masturbated in front of her.

The complaint states Diesel ignored Jonasson’s “clear statements of non-consent,” and after she “screamed and ran towards the nearby bathroom,” he “pinned her against the wall with his body.”

“Vin Diesel categorically denies this claim in its entirety,” Bryan Freedman, attorney for Diesel, wrote in a statement to CNN later on Friday. “This is the first he has ever heard about this more than 13 year old claim made by a purportedly 9 day employee.”

Jonasson is suing Diesel, along with his company One Race Productions, and Diesel’s sister Samantha Vincent for sexual battery, creating a hostile work environment, negligent supervision and wrongful termination, among her other claims.

Jonasson claims that Samantha Vincent, the president of Diesel’s company One Race at the time, called her “mere hours” after the alleged assault and “terminated Ms. Jonasson’s employment.”

She is seeking an imposition of a civil penalty of $10,000 for each violation, plus unspecified punitive damages, according to the suit.

“No one is too famous or powerful to evade justice,” Claire-Lise Kutlay of Greenberg Gross LLP, attorney for Jonasson, wrote in a statement shared with CNN. “We hope her courageous decision to come forward helps create lasting change and empowers other survivors.”

Diesel has appeared in more than 60 TV and film titles. He is also among the producers of the global hit franchise of “Fast & Furious” films. He has several upcoming projects in the works, including “Fast X: Part 2.”

This story has been updated with additional information.

CNN’s Elizabeth Wagmeister contributed to this story.

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