Danny Elfman has been sued by musician and composer Nomi Abadi, who claims he failed to pay two installments of $42,500 from a $830,000 settlement, Rolling Stone reports. According to legal documents viewed by Pitchfork, Abadi submitted a breach of contract lawsuit in Los Angeles Superior Court on Wednesday over a settlement and nondisclosure agreement the two reached in 2018. Pitchfork has reached out to representatives for Elfman and Abadi for comment.

The new lawsuit states that both musicians “agreed to resolve an underlying dispute which included terms that [Elfman] would make payments in four different categories in various installments over the course of five years totaling $830,000.” Elfman failed to pay the two installments in July 2019 and 2021, the lawsuit claims, and Abadi is seeking injunctive relief for the $85,000 that Elfman allegedly did not pay. The lawsuit does not include details about the original dispute that resulted in the settlement.

According to Rolling Stone’s report, the settlement was a result of Abadi accusing Elfman of multiple instances of sexual harassment over the course of a year. Abadi reportedly filed a police report with the Los Angeles Police Department in 2017, a year after the alleged behavior, with allegations against Elfman that the police categorized as “indecent exposure,” states Rolling Stone. The publication also notes that the LAPD was unable to locate the report and declined to make a statement.

Abadi—a Juilliard graduate, Grammy-nominated musician, and former child prodigy—claimed in the Rolling Stone report that she met the famed film and TV composer in 2015. The composer allegedly told the police that Elfman exposed himself and masturbated multiple times in front of her without her consent. Elfman denied the allegations in a statement to Rolling Stone through his attorney.

“How do I respond to accusations so serious that being innocent is not a valid defense? It is excruciating to consider that a 50-year career may be destroyed in one news cycle as a result of vicious and wholly false allegations about sexual misconduct,” Elfman said in a statement to Rolling Stone. “Ms. Abadi’s allegations are simply not true. I allowed someone to get close to me without knowing that I was her ‘childhood crush’ and that her intention was to break up my marriage and replace my wife. When this person realized that I wanted distance from her, she made it clear that I would pay for having rejected her. I allowed an ill-advised friendship to have far-reaching consequences, and that error in judgment is entirely my fault. I have done nothing indecent or wrong, and my lawyers stand ready to prove with voluminous evidence that these accusations are false. This is the last I will say on this subject.”

After that initial statement, a representative for Elfman told Rolling Stone that the original settlement was a reaction to the #MeToo movement and Elfman and Abadi’s “limited interactions, which did not involve sexual contact, were fully consensual.” The representative’s statement continued:

When faced with threats from the other party to go public with untruths at the height of the #MeToo movement, [Elfman] faced the impossible choice between settling and continuing his career and earning a living for his family or deciding to fight what at the time was an unwinnable battle to tell the truth—Danny chose his family. It is disappointing, but sadly not surprising, that this baseless narrative would be revived now that the payments have stopped. Accusations alone should not and do not equate to guilt, and Danny will defend himself and clear his name with the volume of evidence and the other party’s own words—her words speak for themselves.

Abadi’s attorney, Jeff Anderson, shared a brief statement with Rolling Stone, too: “It is ironic that Mr. Elfman’s current statements are directly contrary to the position he maintained in the underlying dispute and to the evidentiary record.”

Days before the 2023 Grammy Awards, Abadi spoke at a February press conference as a Recording Academy member and an advocate for the Female Composer Safety League, a nonprofit group she founded in 2020 to work toward “a composing industry free from sexual abuse, harassment, prejudice, and marginalization.” Rolling Stone notes that, during her speech, Abadi claimed that she didn’t vote for this year’s awards after viewing the list of Grammy nominees because it included abusers. She did not name Elfman in her speech, but he was nominated for a Grammy Award for his arrangement work. Abadi also reportedly called for the end of nondisclosure agreements that stop alleged victims of sexual misconduct from speaking out.

Abadi reportedly stipulated during an original settling period with Elfman that, in addition to personal payments, select funds should go toward establishing a charitable organization to help female composers. Two years after the settlement was set in motion, Abadi founded the Female Composer Safety League.

If you or someone you know has been affected by sexual assault, we encourage you to reach out for support:

RAINN National Sexual Assault Hotline
1 800 656 HOPE (4673)

Crisis Text Line
SMS: Text “HELLO” or “HOLA” to 741-741

Source: pitchfork.com

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