According to court documents published by Variety, a former employee sued actor Vin Diesel on Thursday, accusing him of sexually assaulting her in 2010 while she worked as his assistant and firing her the next day for rejecting his advances.
Per Asta Jonasson’s suit, which was first reported by Vanity Fair, she was hired as Diesel’s assistant in 2010 and immediately flown out to Atlanta, where the actor was shooting Fast Five. She claims that she was sent to his St. Regis Hotel suite one night about a week later, after his security team told her he wasn’t picking up his phone. When she entered the bedroom and gave him the receiver, he allegedly “grabbed [her] wrists, one with each of his hands, and pulled her onto the bed,” before trapping her “in a bear hug as she immediately tried to escape his grasp and get off the bed.” According to her account, she managed to get out of his bedroom, but Diesel told her not to leave the hotel suite, following her out of his room and forcibly hugging her. Court documents say Jonasson was “extremely uncomfortable but felt powerless to stop Vin Diesel,” and also “afraid for her personal safety and job security if she were to anger him.”
The suit alleges that Diesel proceeded to grope and forcibly kiss Jonasson while she “pleaded with him to stop,” before pulling up her dress and trying to take her underwear off while “molesting her body.” She claims she finally managed to run down the hallway toward the bathroom, but he followed her, pinned her to the wall, and placed her hand on his erect penis over his underwear. He then allegedly “pulled his penis out of his underwear and began to masturbate,” while Jonasson, still pinned to the wall, closed her eyes. After groaning, she says, he let her go, briefly went to the bathroom sink, and left the suite.
Diesel’s attorney, Bryan Freedman, has denied the allegations in a statement to Variety. “Let me be very clear: Vin Diesel categorically denies this claim in its entirety,” Freedman said. “This is the first he has ever heard about this more than 13-year-old claim made by a purportedly 9-day employee. There is clear evidence which completely refutes these outlandish allegations.”
Jonasson also claims that Diesel’s sister, Samantha Vincent, who’s the president of his production company One Race, fired her over the phone several hours later, telling her the team no longer needed “extra help.” Vincent and One Race are both listed as co-defendants in the suit, which alleges gender discrimination, hostile work environment, emotional distress, retaliation, and wrongful termination.
Diesel’s is not the only instance of inappropriate behavior listed in Jonasson’s suit. She also claims that, several days before this assault, she was summoned to the hotel room of a different One Race supervisor, who took off his shirt, got into bed, and said, “Come here.” She says she left the room immediately.
Because she had signed a nondisclosure agreement when she was hired, Jonasson says, she kept quiet about both incidents. Her suit states that she was empowered by the Speak Out Act, a congressional ruling that blocks the enforcement of nondisclosure agreements in instances of sexual assault and harassment. The documents also cited California’s AB 2777, which was passed in 2022 and, like New York’s Adult Survivors Act, temporarily lifts the statute of limitations on civil sexual-misconduct suits dating back to 2009.
Jonasson is seeking compensatory damages for lost earnings, salary, bonuses, and other benefits she says she would have received had she not been wrongfully fired, on top of unspecified punitive and emotional distress damages. Her suit cites a civil penalty of $10,000 for each Labor Code violation.
This post has been updated.