Bombargo and band members have launched a defamation lawsuit against a Saskatoon woman who went public with accusations against Nathan and Anthony Thoen, whom she alleged as “overtly sexual and demeaning.”
Tiara Jackle said she was a model hired to participate in a 2016 promotional video shoot for the Yukigassen filming group, featuring the two brothers, in a post shared on Facebook on March 22, 2021.
The plaintiffs in the case are Bombargo, made up of seven band members, the Thoen brothers and Spencer Chilliak, who is also a member of the band. Jackle is the sole defendant.
The band denied the allegations and is seeking $782,000 in punitive and aggravated damages.
“The actions of the Defendant are malicious, highhanded, callous, reprehensible, and designed to injure the Plaintiffs, including their reputation in the community that offends any sense of decency without regard for any proof and the Plaintiffs’ right to be presumed innocent of any such conduct,” it read in the statement and claim filed to the Queen of Courts Bench for Saskatchewan on June 25.
“The actions of the Defendant have cause the Plaintiffs to experience mental, physical and economic harm, including but not limited to a loss appetite, inability to sleep, shaking and sweating, stomach pains, indigestion, serious headaches, general malaise, destruction of business relationships and loss of economic opportunity.”
In her Facebook post, which has since been deleted, Jackle said she and two other women — including a minor — experienced inappropriate, unprofessional and sexualized behaviour from the Thoen brothers, and other people involved in the 2016 shoot.
“The entire experience was extremely distressing and uncomfortable. Throughout the experience, I felt objectified, pressured, disrespected, and any attempt that I made to voice my boundaries or objections was immediately dismissed,” Jackle wrote in her post.
“I had even tried to leave the shoot at one point and several of the men pressured me into staying.”
According to the statement of claim, Jackle tagged at least 37 businesses in the comment section of her original post.
“Tiara engaged the direct attention of no less than 37 agencies and businesses to her false remarks, ruining the public reputation of the Plaintiffs and destroying the economic relationship that the Plaintiffs had with those agencies and businesses,” read in the statement of claim.
In her Facebook post, Jackle said the modeling agency of two of the women she was working with asked the Yukigassen filming group to delete the obtained footage during the shoot.
She said the agency was told it was deleted by Yukigassen filming group, but was later told otherwise. The plaintiffs are now using the video as evidence in their case.
“The entirety of the event described in Tiara’s defamatory post was captured by multiple video cameras and two lapel microphones. Such footage and recordings are in the possession of the Plaintiffs. After thoroughly reviewing same, the Plaintiffs confirmed that Tiara’s statements were unequivocally false,” it read in the statement of claim.
“The Plaintiffs moreover confirm that no underage model was involved in the event described. They assert that the statements regarding the sexual harassment and assault of hundreds of women are untrue and have defamed their personal characters and professional reputations.”
Jackle’s statement of defence, filed on July 27, defends her post, saying everything she wrote was factual.
“The Posts were understood to be part of an international cultural movement including but not limited to the #MeToo movement, which encourages individuals to break cultures of silence by rejecting inappropriate, unprofessional, and sexualized behaviour by others in the workplace and elsewhere,” the statement of defence read.
“The movement encourages the sharing of experiences to bring about positive change and greater equality of treatment in the workplace and elsewhere.”
Jackle has started a GoFundMe Page to help raise money to go towards any legal costs associated to the lawsuit filed against her. Any leftover funds will be donated to the Saskatoon Sexual Assault and Information Centre. As of Monday, more than $50,000 has been raised.
The Thoen brothers were the only members of the band who were mentioned in Jackle’s post.
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