In the new suit, filed Thursday in Los Angeles Superior Court, a woman going by Jane Doe XX alleges the “Edward Scissorhands” composer harassed her during a period from 1997 to 2002 starting when she was a 21-year-old film student.
A spokesperson for Elfman said, “The allegations of misconduct made against Mr. Elfman are baseless and absurd. His legal team is assessing all options and he will vigorously defend these claims in court.”
Jane Doe XX alleges that she and Elfman had a mentor-protegé relationship, but that at a certain point Elfman began to strip naked and expose himself during their meetings. Early in the relationship, she was visiting him at the Mercer Hotel in New York. According to the suit, he took off all his clothes and stood naked in front of the window. She alleges that he then coerced her into doing the same thing.
She felt uncomfortable and quickly put her clothes back on, according to the suit. The next time they saw each other, he got naked again and insisted that she watch him take a bath, the suit alleges.
Over the course of the next five years, this became a regular occurrence, the suit states.
Elfman would remove his clothing “until he was completely nude, and walked around nude in front of Plaintiff, exposing his genitals. Defendant Elfman expressed to Plaintiff that this was the only way he could work, be creative and successful.”
According to the complaint, she felt she could not say anything about this because she was lucky to be in the position she was in.
Jane Doe XX moved to Los Angeles, where she often visited Elfman at his home. According to the suit, she would spend the night in Elfman’s bed, keeping her clothes on and often sleeping above the covers, while he was naked. She said this happened about 40 times.
In 2002, Elfman revealed to her that “Every time you have ever slept next to me, I would masturbate next to you,” according to the suit.
That revelation ended the relationship, as Jane Doe XX experienced “shock, humiliation and shame.” She said she later revealed the situation to others in Elfman’s orbit, but was told there was nothing she could do because of “who he is.”
She decided to come forward after reading that Nomi Abadi, a pianist and composer, leveled similar allegations against Elfman for conduct in 2015 and 2016. Abadi obtained a $830,000 settlement, but sued Elfman earlier this year for failing to pay the full amount. Elfman has denied Abadi’s claims, saying the relationship was platonic and that their limited interactions were “fully consensual.”
The new lawsuit names Elfman and his company, Musica de la Muerta, alleging sexual assault, gender violence, intentional infliction of emotional distress, sexual harassment and negligence. The suit was filed under the California Sexual Abuse and Cover-Up Accountability Act, which revives older claims that would otherwise be barred by the statute of limitations in cases where there is some form of institutional cover-up.
The founder of New Wave group Oingo Boingo, Elfman created “The Simpsons” theme song and the music behind “The Nightmare Before Christmas,” “Men In Black,” “Spider-Man” and most recently, Netflix’s “Wednesday.” He is set to appear at the Hollywood Bowl next week for “Tim Burton’s The Nightmare Before Christmas in Concert.”