Gilbert Rozon is being sued for sexual assault by three more women.

Gilbert Rozon is being sued for sexual assault by three more women.

Gilbert RozonSince 2021, the founder of Just for Laughs has faced at least eight lawsuits alleging sexual assault or harassment.

Three more women, including his former sister-in-law, have filed sexual assault claims against Just for Laughs creator Gilbert Rozon.

Rozon now faces at least eight lawsuits for sexual assault or harassment filed against him since 2021, totaling $4.5 million in damages. In 2020, he was cleared of sexual assault accusations in criminal court.

Martine Roy contends in her lawsuit pointed Friday that Rozon willingly accosted her in 1993, while he was wedded to her sister. When she was working for him under contract in Quebec City, he came into her hotel room and told her how much strain he was under every day, then grabbed her arms and tried to kiss her. She managed to push him away and chalked it up to a one-time blunder caused by his inebriation. He assaulted her in a loge at the Just for Laughs museum two years later, she claims, while she was working there.

“For nearly 30 years, the claimant has suffered the scars of these aggressions that have profoundly changed the course of her life,” according to the lawsuit. “Via these methods, she demands that fairness be served, that the reality of the attack she took be established, and that the defendant be produced conscious of the deep of the harm he has caused… and that he be sentenced to hefty punitive damages adequate to expose, punish, and discourage his abhorrent activity.”

In her case, Marylena Sicari claims that while working at Les Films Rozon and Les Productions Rozon between 1988 and 2004, Rozon sexually assaulted and harassed her on several occasions. Soon after she was employed as an assistant accountant, she claims Rozon began contacting her weekly in the evenings at her house for about two years, urging her to go out with him despite the fact that she was in a relationship and resisted his advances. She ultimately switched phone numbers.

She claims that when she persuaded Rozon’s sister to stop calling, he began rubbing up against her at work or business gatherings, caressing her behind and breasts during an eight-year period. When she told him to stop, he laughed, she said. Later, he repeatedly shoved her hand against his penis, she claimed. In 2004, she took a leave of absence due to burnout.

Guylaine Courcelles claims in her $1.9 million complaint that when she was 22 years old, Rozon misled her into coming to his residence in Outremont after work to discuss employment concerns, then attempted to sexually abuse her. Rozon pretended as if nothing had occurred later at work, and when he questioned why she was cold, she answered it was because he virtually raped her, because she had to propel him out with two needles and he exclaimed on her.

“(Rozon’s) demeanour abruptly changed, a tear streamed down his cheek, and he claimed he didn’t remember doing that.” He didn’t deny anything happened, and with a sad expression on his face, he muttered something like, “So I better understand your attitude towards me in the last few days.”

The Trudel, Johnston, and Lespérance legal firm is handling all three lawsuits.

Two of the plaintiffs stated that they were too afraid to come forward against someone as powerful as Rozon until October 2017, when nine women publicly exposed sexual assaults and harassment at the writings of Rozon in Le Devoir and on 98.5 FM radio class. Another plaintiff stated she was persuaded to come forward after speaking with a Radio-Canada reporter.

Later that year, all three were members of Les Courageuses, a group of women who attempted to sue Rozon in civil court as part of a class-action case. While their motion to proceed was granted, the Quebec Court of Appeal later concluded that a class-action lawsuit was not the appropriate procedural vehicle for prosecuting the defendant.

Rozon has rejected all allegations against him and has launched countersuits against several of the women who have accused him.

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