Transgender Handyman Accuses Rosario Dawson And Her Mom Of Assaulting Him

Photo: Instagram
Who Is Dedreck Finley? New Details On Transgender Handyman Accusing Rosario Dawson And Her Mom Of Assaulting Him

Rosario Dawson's family allegedly knew Dedreck Finely for decades before offering him a job working on a home the actress owns in Los Angeles. He was happy to take the job and prepared to move to the west coast from his home in New York. The one thing he had to do first was let them know that he had transitioned from female to male. They had always known him as Deidre but he explained his gender identity, his preferred name and his preferred pronouns to them.

That's when they turned on him.

In a lawsuit filed last week, Finley says that the Dawson family was deliberately insulting and abusive to him about his gender transition. The situation escalated to the point that Isabel Dawson, Rosario's mother, actually beat him up on the ground outside the apartment he was living in. He says Rosario held him down so her mother could continue hitting him.

Who is Dedreck Finley? Read on for all the details.  

1. Who is Dedreck Finley

Dedreck Finey is a 55-year-old handyman who lived in Beacon, New York until 2017. At the time, he was known as Deidre. He was assigned the female gender at birth and was still presenting as a woman. In 2017, he agreed to move to North Hollywood and begin renovations and remodeling on a home that Rosario Dawson owned there, a job that would provide him with a steady income. The New York Daily News notes he had known Dawson's family for decades before they hired him for the remodeling job. They told him he could live rent-free in a home Dawson's mother Isabel owned, in exchange for work on the house and if he paid for utilities, according to People

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2. Deliberate misgendering and insults

Once Finley moved out to the West Coast he told the family about his transition, asked to be addressed as Dedreck, and explained that his preferred pronouns were he/him. Instead of taking this in stride, as an employer might be expected to do, the family allegedly continued to use his old name and pronouns. “The family misgendered him multiple times each day, with deliberate indifference as to the appropriate way to address Mr. Finley,” according to Page Six. Dawson's stepfather Gregory was straight-up abusive, according to the lawsuit. Finley alleges he would “scream in Mr. Finley’s face that ‘you’re not a man,’ ‘a man wouldn’t work like this,’ and ‘you only think you’re a man.’”

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3. Even Rosario Dawson was in on it

Rosario Dawson starred in the movie Rent, which features a character who presents differently than their birth gender. You might think that would make her more apt to be sympathetic to a transgender person like Finley but he says that is not the case. When he tried to tell her that other family members, especially Isabel, were treating him disrespectfully, she was equally rude. “Instead, in response to Mr. Finley’s complaints, Rosario would respond to Mr. Finley, ‘You’re a grown woman,’” according to the complaint.

Dawson and her family are named in the lawsuit.

4. You're not so much of a man now

Isabel Dawson allegedly sent Finley a text demanding he move out of her apartment, which he refused to do, saying there were no grounds for eviction. In response, Isabel dragged Finely out the window and threw him to the ground. “Once Mr. Finley was lying helpless on the ground outside, Isabel, who is substantially larger than Mr. Finley, got on top of Mr. Finley’s body and began punching him,” the court documents allege. “While beating Mr. Finley, Isabel screamed, ‘You’re not so much of a man now,’ which was a clear and denigrating reference to Mr. Finley’s gender identity.”

Rosario Dawson was present at the time and according to the filing even helped with the assault. The filing alleges that she “sat down on top of Mr. Finley, actively restraining him while he was on the ground to ensure that her mother could continue battering.” Then the two women destroyed Finley's phone so he couldn't call 911. 

Later, Isabel tried to remove Finley's belongings from the apartment, prompting Finely to get a restraining order against her. 

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5. The political fallout of the suit

It's never a good time to be sued by an employee on grounds of discrimination but it's even worse when it happens in the middle of your boyfriend's presidential campaign.

Dawson has been dating Democratic Senator and presidential hopeful Cory Booker for a year. The two of them are head over heels in love and aren't shy about sharing their feelings. "I'm in love! I am absolutely in love and it's so exciting," she said in a recent Washington Post profile. “For my whole life, I’ve always felt like, even when I got into a relationship, I was trying to be the center of the storm and everything was just this maelstrom out there. But for the first time, I feel like I have someone in the center of the storm with me.”

Booker confirms that they are heart-eyes-emoji for each other. “Look, both of us, you know, we’ve had relationships,” Booker said, “but I’m not sure if I’ve ever fully given myself over to a relationship as much as I have with her and allowed myself to be as vulnerable.” 

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But Booker is trying to draw attention to himself as a progressive candidate in a crowded field for the Democratic nomination. None of the candidates have been shy about sticking up for the rights of minorities, including transgender Americans. And bosses abusing workers is definitely not on the Democratic agenda. While Booker isn't implicated in the lawsuit, it doesn't take much for a negative opinion to attach itself to a politician. 

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

 

A post shared by rosariodawson (@rosariodawson) on Oct 11, 2019 at 2:32pm PDT

Booker and Dawson have been dating for a year.

6. No comment yet

As of Wednesday, no one from the Dawson camp has responded to the lawsuit. Finley is seeking damages and a jury trial in the matter.

Cory Booker has not commented yet either. 

Rebekah Kuschmider has been writing about celebrities, pop culture, entertainment, and politics since 2010. Her work has been seen at Ravishly, Babble, Scary Mommy, The Mid, Redbook online, and The Broad Side. She is the creator of the blog Stay at Home Pundit and she is a cohost of the weekly podcast The More Perfect Union.