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Sexual-assault allegations against Anthony Anderson are resurfacing as he hosts this year's Emmys

Eve Crosbie,Eammon Jacobs   

Sexual-assault allegations against Anthony Anderson are resurfacing as he hosts this year's Emmys
  • Anthony Anderson is facing scrutiny as he gets set to host this year's Emmy Awards.
  • The actor and comedian has faced accusations of sexual assault dating back to 2004.

In December, "Black-ish" star Anthony Anderson was announced as the host of the 75th Emmy Awards, but the decision has proven controversial.

Sexual-assault allegations against the actor and comedian, dating back to 2004, have resurfaced in recent weeks, along with calls to have him removed as host.

Advocates cited three cases — two from 2004 and one from 2018. The charges were dropped in two cases, and the outcome is unknown in another.

"Anthony Anderson hosting the Emmys… do the producers just not Google these people?" wrote "XO, Kitty" screenwriter Alanna Bennett on X earlier this month.

The Sexual Violence Prevention Association urged the Emmys and Fox, the network set to air this year's ceremony, to reconsider Anderson as host in an Instagram post on January 6.

"The entertainment industry has the power and responsibility to protect individuals from sexual violence," the post reads in part.

The SVPA said it encourages "the Emmys and Fox to not only remove Anderson as host, but to also conduct their due diligence going forward when selecting hosts."

Here's what you need to know about the allegations against Anderson.

Allegations against Anderson date back to 2004

Anderson, 53, was first accused of sexual assault in July 2004 when an extra on the set of "Hustle & Flow" said that Anderson and assistant director Wayne Witherspoon had sexually assaulted her.

According to a criminal complaint published by The Smoking Gun at the time, a 25-year-old woman told Tennessee authorities that she was "lured" inside a trailer where Anderson and Witherspoon "began removing her clothing and began sexually assaulting her."

Per the complaint, the two men also restrained her and took photographs of her genitals against her will.

After a witness heard her screams and unlocked the trailer, the woman ran away naked, the complaint said.

Anderson was charged with aggravated rape and released after posting a $20,000 bond, as reported by The Smoking Gun.

A spokesperson for the actor denied the allegations at the time, per CNN.

"Anthony is a happily married family man who has never been accused of — no less involved in — anything remotely like this, and we are confident that when all the facts come out, he will be completely exonerated," the actor's spokesperson said.

The case went to court, where the woman testified that the two men had forced her to have sex with them several times in the days before the encounter that she reported to police.

However, the case was been dropped after a judge found that there was not sufficient probable cause, Entertainment Weekly reported in October 2004.

Another woman brought a $900,000 lawsuit against Anderson

In September 2004, Anderson faced a second accusation of sexual assault from a woman who brought a lawsuit against him, claiming that he made sexually suggestive remarks and assaulted her in his dressing room on the set of his short-lived WB sitcom "All About the Andersons" in 2003.

Per UPI, the unnamed woman filed a civil lawsuit suit against the actor in Los Angeles Superior Court, requesting $900,000 in damages.

As E! News reported at the time, Anderson again "unequivocally" denied the allegations, with his spokesperson theorizing that the "ridiculous rape charges pending against him in Memphis" had made him a target.

The outcome of this case is unknown. Anderson's representatives declined to comment on this story, including clarifying the lawsuit's outcome.

In 2018, Anderson was accused of sexual assault for a third time

In July 2018, Anderson faced a third accusation of sexual assault, per The Blast, from a woman in Los Angeles who claimed that the star had assaulted her at an event she catered for the actor.

The Los Angeles Police Department opened up a criminal investigation regarding the incident. However, in September 2018, the Los Angeles County District Attorney's Office declined to prosecute the case because the unnamed woman refused to be interviewed, per The Hollywood Reporter.

At the time, representatives for Anderson told Variety: "It's unfortunate that anyone can file a police report, whether it is true or false. The authorities have not contacted Anthony or any of his representatives about this matter. Anthony unequivocally disputes the claim."

Anderson's representatives declined to comment on this story. Representatives for the Emmys did not immediately respond to a request for comment.


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