In a lawsuit filed last month, Jordan Pruitt, a singer who appeared on Season 3 of “The Voice” and on the soundtrack to “High School Musical 3,” accused her former manager, Keith Thomas, of sexually abusing her when she was a minor.
Also named in the lawsuit is the Walt Disney Company, parent company of her former record label, Hollywood Records, which Pruitt says neglected to protect her from Thomas’ advances.
The suit was originally filed on Aug. 14 using pseudonyms, but was amended to include Pruitt and Thomas’ names Tuesday. “3 weeks ago as ‘Jane Doe’ I filed a lawsuit against my molester and those who enabled him. No more Jane Doe. I am Jordan Pruitt,” Pruitt said in a statement posted to Twitter.
Disney, Hollywood Records, and Thomas’ production and artist management company Levosia Entertainment did not immediately respond to requests for comment Tuesday.
In the suit, Pruitt accused Thomas, a Nashville-based music producer who has worked with Amy Grant, Vanessa Williams, Selena, and Michael Bolton, of a pattern of sexual abuse lasting from when she was 14 until the week before her 16th birthday. Among her accusations, Pruitt says Thomas forced her to perform oral sex and have vaginal intercourse, and on one occasion, drugged her and penetrated her anally.
The filing also says that Thomas, who is 34 years older than Pruitt, “groomed” her mother in order to have more time alone with Pruitt, and that during and after the period of abuse, Thomas would insult Pruitt based on her weight. Pruitt says he would later “build her up with praise and affection” including telling her that “their love was a secret” that she was expected to hide from her parents. Pruitt also says that Thomas was engaged to a woman his own age at the time, but that he told Pruitt he intended to marry her instead.
“Jordan Pruitt, like far too many child stars, was exploited by the very people who should have been protecting her. Jordan’s innocence was robbed from her as she was systematically groomed, molested, and controlled by a predator employed by Disney, a company that sells happiness to children. Disney had a duty to protect Jordan from Keith Thomas, and failed at every step,” said Pruitt’s attorney Keith M. Davidson in a statement provided to TheWrap.
“Jordan can never get back the innocence that was stolen from her, nor can she erase the trauma of this tragedy, but she is committed to making sure no other young women fall victim to child predators employed and protected by one of the largest entertainment corporations in the world. Jordan is brave to find the courage to come forward to take on such a large conglomerate. She like so many victims with their own #metoo story must be supported. I am honored to represent
Pruitt signed with Hollywood Records in 2005 at the age of 14, and recorded two records in 2007 and 2008 before leaving the label for Jonas Records. After briefly competing on “The Voice” in 2012, Pruitt retired from music in 2017. She now co-runs The Aero Bar with her husband, and is planning to release her first book, “AA: Abused Anonymous,” in 2020.
Pruitt first detailed her story in a Facebook post last December, but did not name Thomas at the time.
“At just 14 years young, it looked as if all my dreams were coming true. And for the most part, they were. But, in the darkest crevice of my heart would lie an insurmountable, undeniable, irrefutable amount of pain,” Pruitt wrote.
“As I filmed my music video, Jump to the Rhythm, those eyes were watching my every move. As I watch this video back now, I see this young girl laughing and smiling, but inside I was trapped. Trapped from the piercing pain he made me endure the night before. All I remember is being isolated from the whole world. This man had taken what was supposed to be one of the best experiences of my life, and gave me the worst memory of it. To this day, I cannot watch this video.”