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Rosario Dawson Responds to Lawsuit Alleging Transphobic Attack Amid Mandalorian Casting Backlash

E! logo E! 12/1/2020 Cydney Contreras
Rosario Dawson posing for a picture: Jared Siskin/Patrick McMullan via Getty Images © Provided by E! Jared Siskin/Patrick McMullan via Getty Images

Rosario Dawson says she "understands" why fans of The Mandalorian are divided over her role in the Disney+ series.

In October 2019, Dedrek Finley accused the Men in Black actress and three of her family members of discriminating against him because he's transgender, according to court documents obtained by E! News. Additionally, he accused them of battery, assault, emotional distress and several other allegations.

This lawsuit became a subject of controversy when The Mandalorian producers confirmed she'd portray Ahsoka Tano, a fan favorite character who originally appeared in the popular cartoon Star Wars: The Clone Wars. She made her first appearance in the Disney+ series last week.

Now, she tells Vanity Fair that if she were a fan, she too would "be concerned" after learning of her involvement in the lawsuit. However, the star says that "the truth is coming out" about what really happened in 2019. She states, "Every single claim of discrimination has been dismissed by the person who made them."

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Since filing the lawsuit, Dedrek has voluntarily dropped 18 of the 20 claims made against the Dawson family.

In two of the remaining complaints, Dedrek claims that he was physically assaulted by Rosario's mother, while the actress allegedly sat on him and was "actively restraining him while he was on the ground to ensure that her mother could continue battering him."

According to Vanity Fair, a judge has yet to rule whether the remaining two counts alleging a physical altercation will move forward.

Regarding Dedrek's allegations, Rosario says, "The reason that all of the discrimination claims were dropped is because they didn't happen."

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She adds, "As you've said, the fact that this is coming from someone I've known since I was a teenager, the better part of my life, and who my family was trying to help as we have many times in the past, it really just makes me sad. But I still have a great empathy for him."

E! News has reached out to Dedrek for comment.

Regardless of Dedrek's claims, Rosario believes that her actions speak for themselves. "I was raised in a very inclusive and loving way, and that's how I've lived my entire life," she says. "I've always used my voice to fight for, lift up, and empower the LGBTQA community, and use my platform to channel trans voices, in fiction and nonfiction work that I've produced and directed. So I feel the record is really clear."

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