In 2018, Danny Elfman reached an agreement to settle a sexual harassment case, reportedly paying $830,000 to a woman as disclosed by a recent report from Rolling Stone. The woman, identified as Nomi Abadi, is now making headlines for suing Elfman, claiming that he has failed to fulfill the payment terms of the agreement.
According to court documents obtained by Rolling Stone, Elfman and Nomi Abadi, a 35-year-old musician and composer, had mutually decided to resolve their underlying dispute through a settlement. The terms of the settlement required Elfman to make payments in four different categories, spread over a span of 5 years, summing up to $830,000.
However, it is alleged that Elfman missed two payment installments, each amounting to $42,500, in 2019 and 2021. As a result, Abadi has filed a breach of contract lawsuit against him in Los Angeles.
The initial accusations against Elfman emerged in a police report from November 2017. In the report, Nomi Abadi, who once idolized Elfman and developed a professional relationship with him after meeting in 2015, accused him of indecent exposure and masturbating in front of her without her consent. According to the report, their mentor-mentee relationship quickly deteriorated into a disturbing pattern of sexual harassment.
Reportedly, Elfman would answer the door at his recording studio wearing only a robe, took inappropriate nude photos of Abadi, and sent her explicit pictures, all while allegedly masturbating in front of her on multiple occasions. At the time, Elfman defended these actions as part of his creative process rather than anything inherently sexual.
Abadi confided in a friend about the composer’s behavior, and this friend described Elfman’s interest as having a “labido [sic] interest… which i stay out of.” The situation eventually led to the lawsuit when Elfman failed to meet the settlement’s payment obligations, bringing the matter back into the public eye.
In 2020, Abadi, a member of the Recording Academy, established the nonprofit Female Composer Safety League with the mission to challenge the industry’s stigma surrounding trauma and shame.
However, earlier this year, she expressed her inability to vote in the Grammys after witnessing the nominees, alleging that some of them were abusers. Though she did not specifically name anyone, Elfman was among the Grammy nominees this year.
In response to the accusations made by Abadi, Elfman vehemently denied them in statements given to Rolling Stone. He asserted that Abadi’s allegations were a form of retaliation after he rejected her romantic advances.
Elfman further explained that he agreed to the settlement to protect his career from potential harm, considering the gravity of the #MeToo movement at the time. He expressed anguish over the idea that his decades-long career could be destroyed by false claims of sexual misconduct.
Elfman stated, “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.
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.”
A representative speaking on Elfman’s behalf revealed that he faced a difficult choice when threatened with the prospect of false accusations being made public during the height of the #MeToo movement. He ultimately decided to settle in order to protect his family and continue his career.
The representative expressed disappointment but not surprise that these accusations resurfaced after the payments ceased. The statement emphasized that accusations alone should not lead to assumptions of guilt, and Elfman is prepared to defend himself and clear his name using the substantial evidence and the words of the other party—Abadi herself—as supporting evidence.