May 22nd, 2024

B.C. civil lawsuit against Sex Pistols guitarist alleges 1980 sexual assault

By Brieanna Charlebois, The Canadian Press on April 25, 2024.

A woman has filed a civil lawsuit against Paramount Pictures Corp. and a guitarist of the British punk rock band the Sex Pistols, claiming the musician sexually assaulted her while theywere working on a movie in Vancouver in 1980. Steve Jones, right, and John Lydon of The Sex Pistols perform at the Roxy in West Hollywood, Calif., Thursday, Oct. 25, 2007. THE CANADIAN PRESS/AP-Invision, Chris Pizzello

VANCOUVER – A Vancouver woman has filed a civil lawsuit against Paramount Pictures Corp. and punk rocker Stephen Jones of The Sex Pistols alleging he sexually assaulted her as a teenager while she was a movie extra more than 40 years ago.

A B.C. Supreme Court statement of claim filed by the plaintiff says she was 14 years old and working on the movie “Ladies & Gentlemen, The Fabulous Stains” when Jones supplied her with marijuana, then sexually assaulted her in his hotel room.

The court has placed a publication ban on the woman’s name.

Her lawyer Jason Gratl said in an interview that he could not comment about why the lawsuit was brought 44 years after the alleged events.

“I only wanted to say one thing and it’s that she kept a diary,” Gratl said.

The notice of claim filed Wednesday says Paramount didn’t take adequate steps to warn minors or their parents about the risks of working on the set with Jonesor impose contractual terms restricting his contact with young extras or using illicit drugs.

None of the allegations have been tested in court.

Paramount did not immediately return a request for comment. Jones could not be reached for comment.

Neither Paramount, nor Jones have filed a statement of defence.

The lawsuit says Paramount hired Jones, who was 24 at the time, for a role in the film because of his reputation as a “punk rocker” who consumed excessive amounts of drugs and alcohol, and engaged in sexual misconduct, including with underage girls.

“The defendant Paramount was banking on the defendant Jones’ reputation and history to market ‘The Fabulous Stains,'” the statement says, adding the company “also hired other well-known punk rock musicians as actors for the same purpose.”

The statement says that despite this knowledge, the company did not take steps to protect young workers.

The movie, about disaffected teens in a punk rock band, was released in 1982.

The legal action says the woman is seeking damages, claiming the alleged assault “caused her to suffer psychological injury, including loss of self-esteem, loss of self-worth, injurious self-imaging and identity, and loss of trust in intimacy and potential partners.”

The lawsuit says she was hired as one of the hundreds of extras playing fans for the all-girl feminist rock band. Jones had been hired to play the role of a “socially volatile punk rock guitar player in a fictitious all-male band, The Looters.”

It says that on April 13, 1980, the teen went to the Denman Inn, “a location under the direction and control” of Paramount, with the intention of inviting the movie’s lead actor, Diane Lane, to go roller skating.

When she entered the lobby, it says Jones approached her, told her he had Lane’s number in his hotel room and asked her to go with him to get it. Once they were inside his room, it says Jones gave her marijuana, and he then turned off the lights and closed the curtains.

The document says she understood that meant he was likely to make sexual advances, she told Jones she did not consent and was “only 14, 1-4.” It says despite this, he pulled her onto his bed, climbed on top of her then kissed and molested her.

“The plaintiff repeatedly and expressly told the defendant Jones ‘no’ and tried to move his hand away, and finally wriggled free from him and left the room,” the notice of claim says.

The lawsuit says she was initially “both repulsed and flattered by this unwanted sexual attention from someone she believed to be a rock star and movie star.”

Because she was confused by what had happened, the document says she did not tell her parents and it wasn’t until she was older that she “felt sexually violated and sexually ashamed and angry” about the alleged assault.

This report by The Canadian Press was first published April 25, 2024.

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