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The Voice contestant Jordan Pruitt, who appeared on Season 3 of the NBC singing competition, has filed suit against her former record label, Hollywood Records, and its parent company, the Walt Disney Co., for not protecting her from the alleged sexual abuse she suffered at the hands of her former manager, Keith Thomas. Pruitt alleges that Thomas, who is also named in the lawsuit, began molesting her when she was 14-years-old.
According to Jordan Pruitt's suit, Hollywood Records forced her to work with Keith Thomas as her producer and mentor, allowing the two to work together unsupervised even when those at the company knew or should have known that he was a sexual abuser. Pruitt and her attorney first filed suit on August 14, but used pseudonyms. Last week, a Los Angeles Superior Court judge granted a request from Pruitt's attorney to identify those in the lawsuit, and an amended complaint fully identifying those involved was filed on Tuesday.
In 2005, Jordan Pruitt signed with Hollywood Records and began working with Keith Thomas when she was 14-years-old. As a prominent Nashville producer, Thomas had worked with artists like Ronnie Milsap, Amy Grant and BeBe and CeCe Winans, but has mostly worked with teenaged females since the early 2000s, even starring on a Lifetime reality show (Chasing Nashville) that followed four girls looking to become country music stars in 2013.
Jordan Pruitt gave a statement to Variety, where she noted why she decided to publicly take a stand:
I am standing up and speaking out not only for myself, but for the countless victims across the world who have never been given the opportunity for justice. It is extremely taboo for anyone to speak about sexual abuse, misconduct and exploitation of minors in the ordinarily conservative and genteel South. Over and above decorum, many fear the repercussions of coming forward for example (getting blacklisted from the industry, losing work, having YOUR reputation tarnished). To many victims, coming forward feels shameful. Even though the #metoo movement has been very powerful for many, there is still much work that needs to be done. No one should ever be punished for telling the truth and seeking justice, period.
Pruitt's lawsuit also claims that she was groomed for abuse by Keith Thomas, with him controlling her entire career and many aspects of her personal life, including cutting her off from boys her own age, gaining her mother's trust so that she would allow them to spend time together alone, insulting Pruitt's talent and looks but also showering her with compliments and telling her no one understood their "special" relationship.
She also alleges that Thomas abused her until a week before she turned 16, and that it involved kissing, oral sex, taking her virginity and, on one occasion, Thomas drugging Pruitt and anally penetrating her. Pruitt also says that the abuse took place in various locations, including parked cars, soundstages at the Warner Bros. lot, the Staples Center, hotel rooms and artists' trailers. Jordan Pruitt also noted that she didn't become aware of the abusive nature of her relationship with Keith Thomas until December 2018.
There's no word right now on when Jordan Pruitt's case will be heard in court, but she is writing a book about her experience, which is currently titled Abuse Anonymous.