Here’s Why A Wave Of Sexual Misconduct Allegations Have Been Filed In N.Y. Recently



A number of people have made sexual misconduct allegations against high-profile stars and politicians in recent days, ahead of the expiration of a New York law that allows survivors to sue for sexual abuse regardless of the statue of limitations.

Key Facts

New York City Mayor Eric Adams was accused of sexually assaulting a woman in 1993 when they both worked for the City of New York—the summons does not include a detailed complaint and Adams denied the allegation.

In a complaint filed Wednesday, Jame Foxx was accused of groping and touching the breasts of an unnamed woman in 2015—the Jane Doe is seeking an unspecified amount for the “physical and emotional injuries” Foxx allegedly caused, multiple outlets reported—though Foxx denied the allegations and said he plans to file a countersuit.

Former Penthouse model Sheila Kennedy filed a complaint against Guns N’ Roses frontman Axl Rose Wednesday, accusing him of raping her in a New York City hotel in 1989—a claim Rose’s lawyer Alan Gutman said “never happened.”

Two women, Jasmine Abbay and Kelsey Harbert, filed two separate lawsuits Wednesday against Cuba Gooding Jr. accusing the actor of sexual assault and battery, multiple outlets reported.

Last week, Sean “Diddy” Combs made headlines after R&B singer Casandra Ventura, also known as Cassie, filed a lawsuit against him accusing Combs of raping her in 2018 and other abusive behaviors—one day later the pair settled the lawsuit on undisclosed terms.

Key Background

These claims, and many more, were made possible by the New York Adult Survivors Act—a law that allows accusers to file lawsuits against alleged sexual abusers regardless of when the abuse occurred. The sudden influx of high-profile cases is likely the result of the law expiring Thursday at midnight. Last year, officials created a year-long suspension of the usual window of time survivors have to sue over alleged sexual assault, suddenly allowing survivors to bring forward incidents that happened years and even decads ago. One of the most high profile cases filed under the act was brought against former President Donald Trump last year. Writer E. Jean Carroll first accused Trump of rape in 2019 when she published an excerpt of her memoir. Carroll said that in the 1990s Trump attacked and raped her in a dressing room in a department store. Because of the Adult Survivors Act, Carroll was able to bring her allegation forward despite the statute of limitations expiring. In May, a jury found Trump liable for sexually abusing Caroll and he was ordered to pay her $5 million in damages. The jury rejected her claim that Trump raped her.

Big Number

2,587. That’s how many electronic Adult Survivor Act filings were in state court records, including filings on behalf of multiple people, as of earlier this week, according to the Associated Press.

What To Watch For

The final tally of filings will almost certainly increase from the AP’s reported number once the window closes for survivors to make their claims.

Further Reading

New York City Mayor Eric Adams Accused Of 1993 Sexual Assault In Filing (Forbes)

Axl Rose—Guns N’ Roses Frontman—Accused Of Rape In N.Y. Lawsuit (Forbes)

Rapper Sean ‘Diddy’ Combs Accused Of Rape And Sex Trafficking By Singer And Former Partner (Forbes)

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