Danny Elfman settled a sexual harassment lawsuit for $830K, still owes $42k

I am a huge fan of film scores (well, to be more precise, good ones). I’m not a musician, and I think the fact that I know nothing about the inner workings of composition actually contributes to the interest: it’s an experience that is purely visceral and non-verbal. Over the years I’ve taken note of composers; which ones I liked, what kind of movies they tended to score, and what directors they often worked with. Among the most prolific of contemporary film composers is Danny Elfman, who came up with the theme music for The Simpsons and has worked numerous times with Sam Raimi, Gus Van Sant, and Tim Burton. Not only did Elfman write the songs for The Nightmare Before Christmas, he also is the singing voice for Jack Skellington himself. He is the Pumpkin King! Which makes this news in New York Post–that he settled sexual harassment charges for $830,000 with a young composer, and has been delinquent in payments–all the more heartbreaking and infuriating:

Celebrated composer Danny Elfman settled a sexual assault with former friend and composer Nomi Abadi in 2018 for a whopping $830,000 after she accused him of multiple instances of sexual harassment, according to a report.

Now she is suing Elfman again, claiming that he failed to make two installments worth $42,500 in each July 2019 and 2021 as required by terms of the settlement, Rolling Stone reported.

Elfman, 70, and Abadi, 35, met in 2015, according to the lawsuit, and the pair became fast friends.

In November 2017, however, the former child prodigy who had performed with orchestras since the age of 5, filed a report with the Los Angeles Police Department accusing Elfman of “indecent exposure,” the magazine reported.

For over a year, Elfman had exposed his genitals in front of her and masturbated multiple times without her consent, Abadi claimed.

Elfman denied the allegations in a lengthy statement to Rolling Stone.

He said their relationship was platonic, and Abadi became frustrated with him after he declined her romantic advances.

“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,” he said in a statement to the magazine.

“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,” continued Elfman, who has been married to former actress Bridget Fonda since 2003.

“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,” he said.

A representative for the Oingo Boingo frontman subsequently told Rolling Stone that all of Elfman and Abadi’s “limited interactions” did not involve sexual contact and “were fully consensual.”

[From New York Post]

“How do I respond to accusations so serious that being innocent is not a valid defense?” What does this even mean?! Is he suggesting that if he were accused of something less severe, all he’d have to say is “I’m innocent” and that would be enough? But what’s really telling is the second sentence where he reveals the only thing he’s actually worried about–his 50 year career. A tip for men worried about their legacies: don’t emotionally, physically, or sexually abuse people you encounter.

The band rep’s quote had me pinging too. Why note that there was no sexual contact between Elfman and Abadi, and then go on to say all their meetings “were fully consensual.” Is it common to point out that meetings with friends are consensual? And of course there’s the question, like Kaiser raised when Tenoch Huerta released a statement in response to allegations last month, how can a third party attest to something being consensual? This is so disgusting and disappointing.

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40 Responses to “Danny Elfman settled a sexual harassment lawsuit for $830K, still owes $42k”

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  1. He is one weird looking being! Know nothing about him. Just take responsibility and take your punishment. Oops that will never happen. It never does.

    • Miranda says:

      He looks like Chucky with progeria.

    • manda says:

      omg, thank you for commenting on his looks bc I wasn’t sure if people would find that a valid thing to comment on. Wow, I had heard of danny elfman but never seen him. He is possibly the most disturbing looking person I have ever seen!

    • Moxylady says:

      Isn’t this Arianna Grande’s new boyfriend? The guy who left his high school sweetheart and infant for her?

  2. Laalaa says:

    OMG 😳
    This is so dissapointing, I love(D) him until now 🙁
    Piece of sh*t!!!

    The only worse one for me would be Hans Zimmer.

    • theotherViv says:

      Oh, what did I miss, what did Zimmer do? I worked with someone who dated him and he seemed …very…. homely?

  3. Ocho says:

    What a convoluted statement. Elfman never says “I didn’t do these actions”. He (and his rep) state that their interactions were “fully consensual” and were not “sexual misconduct”. That is not a denial of his actions. It implies that Elfman may have exposed himself and masturbated in front of HIS MENTEE, but he does not think it was misconduct. “We were friends, it was totes cool.” If he is denying these actions, he should re-word his statement.

  4. Miranda says:

    I think what we have here is yet another sick f–k who plays dumb and willfully misinterprets stunned silence and being petrified with fear as “consent”.

  5. Skyblue says:

    Is every man in the whole wide world a creeper?

  6. Roo says:

    So he settled this matter, at least taking some manner of responsibility, but NOW claims he’s “innocent”?

  7. Tiffany says:

    Bridget Fonda gave up her career for this dude. Seriously.

    I wonder of she is planning her divorce.

  8. Tree says:

    How does someone as rich as Danny Elfman miss a payment? Was it done on purpose. Sounds like he regrets settling.

    • tealily says:

      We likely never would have heard about all this if he’d just made his payments, either. What an idiot.

  9. Eowyn says:

    I didn’t know what Danny Elfman looked like, and I was fine with that.

    • Jk says:

      Me neither. I had seen his name many, many times before but never his face.
      This whole thing- the news, the face- is disappointing/disturbing.

      I imagined him to look like Danny DeVito for some reason….

  10. Carol Mengel says:

    I thought he was married to Jenna Elfman? That would make them Scientologists, right? But he is very strange looking.

    • Ameerah M says:

      Nope. Jenna Elfman’s husband is married to Bodhi Elfman who is Danny Elfman’s uncle. She and Bodhi are Scientologists.

    • square_bologna says:

      Jenna Elfman is married to Danny’s nephew, Bodhi.

  11. Ameerah M says:

    These dudes always have the same defense “she was angry that I spurred her sexual advances”. Rinse, wash, repeat. Like dude – get real. You’re a 70 year old senior citizen. This woman was NOT coming on to you.

    • fresser says:

      In his mind she was coming on to him, and he “responded in kind.” A world of NO. Men always think they are much more attractive than they actually are. This guy also has the delusion that he’s 30 years younger than he is.

      And to think I used to respect him and admire his work. Sort of off topic: what is it with Bridget Fonda and these gingers? Didn’t she live with Eric Stoltz for like a million years? At least he was cute, and still is.

  12. Chaine says:

    Ummm “childhood crush” my ass. No one has a childhood crush on their geriatric goth auntie.

    • lucy2 says:

      This made me laugh harder than I want to admit.

    • Christine says:

      I freely admit to having a massive crush on John Williams since I first started having crushes, and he’s 91 years old and looks like Santa. But yeah….this guy is odd looking.

    • Bingo says:

      I was 14 when Oingo Boingo had their hit song Weird Science in 1985. I thought he was fugly then and somehow has morphed into looking like the It Clown Grandpa.

  13. HeyKay says:

    Why would anyone agree to a payout and then not complete it?
    A financial settlement is meant to end all publicity and make things quiet down, I thought.

  14. Itsme says:

    He’s married to Bridget Fonda?!

  15. The Old Chick says:

    I didn’t realise he was married to Bridget Fonda. I mistook him for jenna’s husband. Either way, unfortunate individual

  16. Nuks says:

    She sure looks like a young Bridget Fonda.

  17. Yonati says:

    Danny Elfman and Oingo Boingo were huge in the 80s in the SF Bay area and surroundings counties. “Dead Man’s Party” is classic Oingo Boingo and was on the radio a lot. I was excited when he hit the big time, but Lordy, these photos are horrific. It’s like Dorian Grey was revealed. He looks like he could be the Joker in real life. Mentors have a responsibility to NOT get weird and absive with their mentees. This is a Power Move that played with their emotional dynamic. F**k Danny Elfman!

  18. tealily says:

    Et tu, Elfman?? Team Fonda.

  19. smee says:

    All you have to do is listen to the Oingo Boingo song entitled Little Girls, written by DE, and you’ll see what a creep he is. Super talented, but definitely a creep or worse.

  20. Hannah Kay says:

    830k is a lot to pay for something you didn’t do.

    Shakedowns are a real thing and sometimes it’s cheaper to settle than to litigate but I can’t imagine an innocent person (even a wealthy one) settling for this much.

  21. Tara says:

    I have always loved his band Oingo Boingo. But let’s take a closer look at some of his early lyrics: “I love little girls, they make me feel so good”.

    While this is disappointing to hear, I am in no way surprised. He has literally written songs about sexually abusing minors.

  22. Cas says:

    I always loved Bridget Fonda. I can’t believe she retired from acting for this guy.

  23. bisynaptic says:

    Ugh, he’s ruining Oingo Boingo for me.

  24. Me says:

    I am quite no one wants to see any version of this man’s appendage.

  25. Saschafrom76 says:

    i knew someone in Hollywood who said Bridget Fonda was “morbidly obese and let herself go” and he could amd SHOULD get tail Anytime so he idid and stayed w her cuz she’s rich (?!) I have a feeling he internalized that messaging, I’m sad . Didn’t hang out with that person again.

  26. Will says:

    He looks like an old woman.