Update: On August 3, Mitchell and Dusty Button voluntarily dismissed all claims against Daryl Katz in the U.S. District Court in Nevada.
According to a civil lawsuit reported by Radio Canada News.
A third-party counterclaim in the US District Court in Nevada alleged that Canadian billionaire Daryl Katz had a sexual relationship with ballerina Sage Humphries when she was underage.
But on August 3, the claims, which were made by dance teacher Mitchell Taylor Button and his wife, Dusty Button – and not the alleged victim, Sage Humphries, were withdrawn in federal court in Nevada.
Humphries, through an attorney, denied the charges.
The counterclaim followed a 2021 lawsuit filed against dance teacher Mitchell and Dusty Button, by Humphries and other ballet dancers who accused the pair of sexual abuse, the Canadian news outlet reported.
The couple filed the third-party counterclaim alleging the Buttons had a consensual ‘threesome sex’ with Humphries when they were 18, but also claim Katz and two other men had sex with the Buttons. Humphries when she was underage, CBC News reported. . The claim had sought to hold the men liable for any damages.
“Humphries was literally a child prostitute for a billionaire,” the allegation goes, “and her mother helped her launder the money she was getting and traffic her to Katz.”
A court filing exhibit obtained by CBC News shows texts allegedly exchanged between Katz, when he was 53, and Humphries, when she was 17. How the messages were obtained for the civil suit was unclear.
“If my guys send you funds, are you going to spend/keep them for yourself?” Katz reportedly wrote. “And just between us?” Even if you are wise beyond your years, given our respective ages, it would be a bad idea.
“Yeah.. Just between us,” Humphries reportedly replied.
“OK, one of my guys will email you. He’ll send you 50,000,” Katz allegedly then replied.
Katz’s attorney, Robert Klieger, denied the allegations against his client, calling them “baseless and libelous.”
He told CBC News that Katz had never had a sexual relationship with Humphries, although the two met twice in 2016 to discuss a project the teenager was pitching to Katz’s film company, Silver Pictures. .
Klieger said he couldn’t verify the authenticity of the texts in the court filing, CBC News reported, but Katz arranged for $75,000 to be sent to Humphries as part of a business deal.
“They finally decided to hand over the project. But during the time the project was under consideration, they asked for help to maintain funding for the project so that it would continue. And it’s the $75,000 that’s at issue,” Klieger said.
The attorney for Humphries and the other dancers suing Taylor Button and his wife dismissed the counterclaim as a “meaningless spectacle” in a statement to CBC News.
“As is typical of abusers facing serious litigation, the Buttons have filed counterclaims that misrepresent and distort the truth and weaponize the serious abuse allegations that have been made against them,” attorney Sigrid McCawley wrote.
“Their counterclaims falsely implicate other people and are a baseless attempt to portray the women they abused as liars.”
A lawyer representing Taylor Button and his wife, who was once a principal member of the Boston Ballet, declined to comment to CBC News.