In April 2023, online rumors began circulating that actor and former wrestler Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson was named as a defendant in a $3 billion kidnapping lawsuit. A widely-shared TikTok video from April 24, 2023, brought significant attention to these claims, garnering over 675,000 views at the time of publication. Similar posts were found on Reddit, Twitter, and a Facebook fan page for Johnson.
Claims made about Johnson in relation to the lawsuit included a TikTok video suggesting he appeared on “Saturday Night Live” (SNL) saying he had created a “child molesting robot” and that he “ate children” in an interview. The SNL sketch was indeed aired on May 20, 2017, and the interview in question occurred in 2018 when promoting the movie “Skyscraper.” One was openly satire, and the other was a comedic one-liner during the interview about his physical appearance.
Here’s the TikTok video. Just to editorialize for a moment, frankly we’re surprised it got the traffic it did. It is some of the most incredulous invention we’ve seen in quite a while.
@rebeliousone1 Dwayne Johnson is in big trouble#creativeuniverse? #fyp #truthspeakup #publicspeaking #speaking ? I Got 5 On It – Tethered Mix from US – Michael Abels & Luniz
Johnson was indeed named in the lawsuit. Public Access to Court Electronic Records (PACER) revealed that the lawsuit was filed in the United States District Court, Southern District of New York, on Oct. 8, 2022. The last filing in the case docket was on March 1, 2023. There isn’t a court date, and once you see the filing (there’s a link at the end of the article) you might understand why we don’t expect there will ever be one.
As the rumors about Johnson’s involvement in the $3 billion kidnapping lawsuit continued to spread online, no concrete evidence has emerged connecting Johnson directly to the allegations made by the plaintiff, and his specific role isn’t even mentioned.
The plaintiffs in the case were a former professional wrestler and her two minor children, who represented themselves pro se. The court document provided a timeline of events, claiming that the woman’s ex-husband stalked and abducted her and her children with the assistance of law enforcement. However, Johnson was not specifically named in this timeline.
The initial filing was made in the Southern District of New York Federal Court is to seek a preliminary injunction and a restraining order on behalf of one Trenesha Biggers (stage name Rhaka Khan) from being continually subjected to what she claims is false arrest, with the result of her being repeatedly separated from her children. What was apparently actually happening was that she had been criminally indicted for interfering with custody of her children and had been charged with “aggravated kidnapping facilitate”, which apparently means she kidnapped her own kids from their father who had legal custody. When she failed to appear in court in December of 2022 after several scheduling delays, she was put on the El Paso, Texas “Most Wanted” list, and a bench warrant was issued for her arrest.
Additionally, a Disney blog titled Inside the Magic (we shall not link to them here, because we don’t believe they deserve the link traffic) published a post claiming that Johnson was removed from the Pirates of the Caribbean franchise due to the lawsuit. However, there is no evidence that Johnson was ever part of the franchise or that the lawsuit impacted his involvement in any way.
If Disney had been taking this seriously, given that the law suit was filed in October of 2022, we doubt that Johnson would have made the following announcement regarding his involvement with a live-action version of Moana, released in April of 2023.
There are 23 pages of named defendants. The description of the crime is wild and meandering, and it doesn’t even mention, apart from an accusation by name, exactly how Johnson was involved in the supposed scheme. Others listed as defendents include 29 colleges and universities, major fast food chains, major broadcast TV networks, the FBI, the United States of America, the “Airforce” (no mention of whose air force it is) every major car rental franchise, every major phone service carrier, every major professional sports organization, and Bubba the Love Sponge. Many defendants are listed two or three times in the document.
While it is true that Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson has been named as a defendant in a $3 billion kidnapping lawsuit, the specific allegations against him remain uncertain. The sensational claims made in various online posts and videos should be taken with caution until further evidence or developments emerge.
To us, this lawsuit does not look like it’s going anywhere very far, or very soon.
You can read the lawsuit in its entirety here. Note that part of the filing is written by hand, which suggests that it might not have been prepared by an actual attorney.