Danny Elfman: Second Woman Accuses Composer of Sexual Misconduct

The musician was accused of sexual assault and gender violence in a lawsuit filed Thursday in Los Angeles, three months after Rolling Stone’s disclosure of a $830,000 sexual-harassment settlement

By: Ethan Millman
Published By: RollingStone

A SECOND WOMAN has come forward with allegations of sexual misconduct against composer and musician Danny Elfman, according to a lawsuit obtained by Rolling Stone.

The woman, who filed the lawsuit anonymously as a Jane Doe accuser in Los Angeles on Thursday, claimed in the suit that Elfman frequently exposed himself to her and allegedly told her that he masturbated next to her while she was asleep and couldn’t consent to the act.

The suit comes three months after Rolling Stone investigation revealed that Los Angeles composer Nomi Abadi previously accused Elfman of exposing himself and sexually harassing her in 2017, before entering into an $830,000 settlement and non-disclosure agreement to silence the claims. Abadi filed a lawsuit in July over breach of contract, alleging that Elfman missed multiple payments related to the settlement. Similar to Abadi’s allegations, the Jane Doe accuser claimed in the suit that from 1997 to 2002, Elfman would expose himself to her frequently when they would meet.

In a statement to Rolling Stone, A representative for Elfman denied all the allegations. “The allegations of misconduct made against Mr. Elfman are baseless and absurd,” the rep said. “His legal team is assessing all options and he will vigorously defend these claims in court.”

“It’s important to this Jane Doe that Nomi knows she’s not alone anymore, that what was done to her by Elfman mirrors in so many ways what was done to Nomi,” Attorney Jeff Anderson, representing both Abadi and the Jane Doe, told Rolling Stone, adding that the woman spoke out to send a message to those who “made efforts to destroy the lives of others who found the courage to speak up.”

As he’s done frequently over the past several years, Elfman is slated to perform at the Hollywood Bowl next week from October 26 – 28 to reprise his role as Jack Skellington in the Bowl’s The Nightmare Before Christmas show. (Elfman was the composer behind the film as well.) Halsey and Catherine O’Hara are expected to trade off roles as Sally.

In the suit, the woman alleges that she met the then-47-year-old Elfman at a mutual friend’s home in April 1997, when she was 21. The two “immediately connected,” the suit says, and kept in touch for the next several years.

The woman accused Elfman of grooming her, and after “a few times” of hanging out, the woman alleged that Elfman had exposed himself to her while they were in Elfman’s hotel room at the Mercer Hotel in New York.

“Defendant Elfman suddenly removed all of his clothing until he was completely nude, and walked around naked in front of Plaintiff, exposing his genitals,” the suit said. “He proceeded to go in front of the open window and stand there in an effort to expose his naked body and genitals. Defendant Elfman then coerced Plaintiff to take her clothing off and stand naked with him in front of the open windows in full view of the public. Defendant Elfman told Plaintiff that he hoped someone would look at them and that it was fun.”

The Jane Doe plaintiff “felt uncomfortable being naked in front of him,” per the suit, “so she left the window and put her clothes back on. Defendant Elfman remained nude in front of the window for another five minutes.”

The next time they saw one another, the woman alleged, “Defendant Elfman stripped nude and exposed his genitals again, and started taking a bath. He insisted that Plaintiff come to the bathroom and watch him take a bath.”

After that occasion, the suit alleges, Elfman would expose himself to the woman every time they saw each other. Elfman allegedly told the woman that being naked “was the only way he could work, be creative, and successful,” a similar allegation to what Abadi had alleged to friends of hers who spoke with Rolling Stone in July.

“Plaintiff felt uncomfortable” with the nudity, per the suit, “but did not say anything because she did not want to risk losing [Elfman] as a friend and mentor, given what she perceived to be a very lucky position she was in, as a consultant for his work and protégé.”

Per the suit, on about seven occasions, the woman would stay in the same hotel room as Elfman and sleep in the same bed as him, keeping her clothes on and usually sleeping on the top of the sheets while Elfman slept naked next to her.

“Plaintiff always felt the imbalance of power and pressure to act a certain way around Defendant Elfman,” the suit said. “Plaintiff felt like she had no choice but to always comply with his requests, and Plaintiff felt this was a condition of their continued relationship.”

By 1998, the woman allegedly told Elfman she was looking to move to Los Angeles from New York, and she stayed at Elfman’s home for several weeks while looking for her own place. While living there, Elfman continued to expose himself to her, she alleges, and “on one occasion, he coerced Plaintiff to take off her clothes too, which she complied because she felt that she owed him a little more than just tolerating his nudity.”

In 2002, during a conversation, the woman claims that Elfman told her that he masturbated next to her every time she would sleep next to him, a claim that allegedly left the plaintiff “horrified and shocked.”

“Defendant Elfman further explained that he enjoyed watching her sleep and would masturbate to her, anytime and every time,” the suit said. “His fetish, which she did not consent to being a part of, required her to be sleeping.”

Their friendship abruptly ended after that conversation, the suit said. The woman had come forward with the suit after reading Rolling Stone’s initial article, the suit said.

Along with Elfman, the company De La Muerte was included as a defendant. The official listed causes of action are sexual assault, gender violence, intentional infliction of emotional distress, sexual harassment and negligence.