Actress Rosario Dawson is currently the number one trending topic on Twitter, but the reasons why are mixed.
While it was announced today that Dawson has been cast in a huge new role in Disney’s hit Star Wars spinoff The Mandalorian, some fans were sent into an excited tailspin while others reacted with sheer horror.
Currently, the top comments on Twitter under Dawson’s name are related to an incident from her past with a female-to-male transgender individual named Derek Finley.
Though accusations of transphobia are nothing new on social media, these are not related to mere words or attitudes—but accusations that Dawson, wife of Democratic senator and former presidential candidate Corey Booker, brutally assaulted Finley out of sheer animus for Finley’s gender identity.
In 2017, Finley was hired by the Dawson family to renovate their home in Hollywood. Finley would go on to move into an apartment owned by the Dawson’s, coming out to them as transgender around this time.
Finley filed a lawsuit in 2019 that details what happened next. Speaking to media about the abuse, Finley alleges he was routinely denigrated and misgendered by Rosario Dawson and her family. One month after coming out as transgender, Dawson demanded Finley move out of the apartment he was occupying—a demand he refused because they had “no grounds” to evict him.
Shortly after refusing to vacate the property, in February of 2018, Finley claims the Dawson family “worked together” to assault him. Finley claims Rosario Dawson “sat on top” of him so her mother could batter him, punching him in the face and yelling “you’re not such a man now!”
Isabel Dawson, Rosario’s sister, stomped on Finley’s hand, stealing his cellphone. She also threatened to kill his cat unless he vacated the apartment.
One day after the attack, Finley was granted a temporary restraining order against Isabel Dawson.
In addition to being an actress, Rosario Dawson is a philanthropist who has associations with many pro-LGBT charities including Parents, Friends, and Families of Lesbians and Gays (PFLAG) and NoH8.
Dawson also came out as “LGBT” in February 2020 despite being in a heterosexual relationship with Democratic senator Corey Booker.
The Dawson family has not commented publicly on Finley’s accusations, but a lawyer representing them has called the lawsuit “baseless.