Because of a lawsuit alleging Steven Seagal held an employee against her will as a “sex toy” and sexually assaulted her, production has been stopped on a second season of A&E’s Steven Seagal Lawman, which follows the actor in his job as a reserve deputy sheriff and earned record ratings for the network.
Jefferson Parish Sheriff Newell Normand told reporters, “I informed A&E and ITTV that I did not believe at the present time in light of all of this interest and in light of the filing of this particular lawsuit and in light of the disruptive behavior that may end up existing … that I did not think it would be in our best interest to continue filming at the present time.”
While he said he can’t investigate until the woman files a formal complaint, the sheriff also said, “I will treat Mr. Seagal no differently than any other employee of the Jefferson Parish Sheriff’s Office. I’m not moved one iota by virture [sic] of his being a movie star or the fact that the national media has an interest in this case.”
The case is, as The Times-Picayune reports, a lawsuit against Seagal filed in Los Angeles by Kayden Nguyen that “accused Seagal, 59, of illegal trafficking of females for sex, sexual harassment, failure to prevent sexual harassment, retaliation, wrongful termination and false representation about employment.”
The lawsuit (read the complete document [PDF]) says that Nguyen was hired as an assistant to support the A&E reality show but was asked to provide “sex on call to him 24 hours a day, seven days a week” and act as Seagal’s “sex toy.”
Seagal’s attorney denies the charges, and said “Nguyen filed her lawsuit without even notifying Mr. Seagal or his representatives of her alleged claims, because she was aware that claims could be asserted against her based on her own conduct.” That is a reference to a confidentiality agreement she signed, according to E! News, because Seagal’s lawyers said means that filing a lawsuit and talking about what she says happened “is in direct violation of the terms of the confidentiality agreement.”
That’s not quite a convincing defense there, Steven Seagal.