Entertainment

‘Game of Thrones’ star Joseph Gatt sues DA George Gascon and LA for $40 million over false pedophilia claims

“Game of Thrones” star Joseph Gatt is suing Los Angeles District Attorney George Gascón, the City of Los Angeles, L.A. County and others for $40 million after being arrested and charged with having “online sexually explicit communication with a minor across state lines.” 

The 52-year-old actor was arrested in April 2022 and released the same day after posting a $5,000 bail. Gatt vehemently denied the allegations at the time, and the charges were dismissed in February. 

On Thursday, Gatt filed a lawsuit in federal court claiming that a “thoroughly botched criminal investigation” based on “the uncorroborated word of a then-16-year-old, admittedly obsessed fan of Gatt” caused the “intentional destruction” of his career and reputation after he was “publicly branded as a serial pedophile,” according to court documents obtained by Fox News Digital.

george gascon side by side with joseph gatt

“Game of Thrones” star Joseph Gatt is suing Los Angeles District Attorney George Gascón, the City of Los Angeles, LA County and others for $40 million. (Getty)

The lawsuit named Gascón, L.A. County, L.A. County Deputy District Attorney Angela Brunson, LAPD Detective Denos Amarantos and the City of Los Angeles as defendants. 

‘GAME OF THRONES’ ACTOR JOSEPH GATT ARRESTED FOR CONTACT WITH A MINOR FOR SEXUAL OFFENSE

“Defendants, using threats, intimidation and coercion, and with no cause, let alone probable cause, subjected Gatt—a successful actor with numerous film and television series credits, including Game of Thrones and Banshee, among many others — to an utterly baseless arrest, unlawful detention, unlawful search and seizure of property, and malicious prosecution in which Gatt was alleged to have electronically communicated with a minor in a sexually explicit manner,” the documents stated.

In the lawsuit, Gatt claimed that the arrest and investigation were due to the alleged actions of a teenage fan, referred to in the documents as “Jane Doe,” whom he “did not know and has never actually met.”

The documents stated that the defendants did not interview “Jane Doe” until almost a year after Gatt was arrested, charged with “baseless crimes” and labeled a serial pedophile.

Joseph Gatt

The 52-year-old actor was arrested in April 2022 and charged with having “online sexually explicit communication with a minor across state lines.” The charges were dismissed in February.  (Photo by Gabe Ginsberg/FilmMagic)

According to the documents, a friend of the fan surprised her in October 2020 with a Cameo video from Gatt in which he wished her a happy 16th birthday. “Jane Doe,” who lived in Washington state, contacted Gatt on Instagram to thank him for the birthday wishes.

The teen continued to message Gatt on Instagram for the next two to three months, and he “responded in a manner that was wholly appropriate and consistent with typical celebrity-fan exchanges,” according to the lawsuit.

“Unbeknownst to Gatt, throughout this time Jane Doe was an admittedly obsessed fan who was already using a naked picture of Gatt — a still image from his appearance on the television show ‘Banshee’ that Jane Doe herself had apparently sought out and downloaded from the internet — as her phone’s lock screen even before Gatt had ever had any interaction with her,” the documents claimed.

“Gatt also learned much later that Jane Doe had professed that she had sexual dreams involving Gatt, and had also apparently downloaded from the internet pictures of Gatt from his appearance on the television show Z Nation and photoshopped a fake tattoo of her own name onto Gatt’s right bicep,” the lawsuit added.

“Without Gatt’s knowledge, and apparently using software readily available on the internet for the specific purpose of creating fake social media conversations to trick and impress friends, Jane Doe thereafter wholly manufactured fake conversations between herself and Gatt via the social media platform Snapchat that were sexual in nature and pure fantasy,” the lawsuit continued. 

District Attorney George Gascon speaks to media wearing navy blue suit and dark tie

In addition to Gascon, Gatt is suing LA County, LA County Deputy District Attorney Angela Brunson, LAPD Detective Denos Amarantos and the City of Los Angeles. (Hans Gutknecht/MediaNews Group/Los Angeles Daily News via Getty Images)

According to the lawsuit, Jane Doe’s older sister found the fake Snapchat messages, took photos of them with her own phone and sent them to a police department in Washington. The documents stated that investigators referred the case to the LA DA and the LAPD in December 2021 after learning Gatt didn’t live in Washington.

The lawsuit accused the defendants of failing to confirm that the “obviously fake” photos were real before Gatt was arrested and charged.

“Gatt was arrested and prosecuted based solely on unauthenticated pictures of social media conversations displayed on an unidentified phone screen that, on their face, were highly suspicious and facially untrustworthy,” the documents stated. 

In addition, the lawsuit alleged that Deputy District Attorney Brunson “sought to destroy Gatt based on nothing more than bias and personal animosity” stemming from political differences. 

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According to the documents, Brunson and Gatt are both active members of the high-performance sports car community in L.A., and the deputy district attorney’s boyfriend worked at a motorsports tuning store that the actor frequented.

“Gatt was well known in the high-performance sports car community generally, and to DDA Brunson specifically, for his liberal political beliefs, including his vocal support for the Black Lives Matter movement and for LA County District Attorney George Gascón,” the documents said. 

“Like the vast majority of the high-performance sports car community, DDA Brunson espouses conservative political beliefs that are the polar opposite of Gatt’s beliefs, and she was also a vocal critic of Gascón despite working for him at the LA DA.” 

The lawsuit alleged that Brunson “ignored the glaring red flags” in the evidence against Gatt before having him arrested and prosecuted. 

Last summer, Brunson left Gascón’s office for a position at the Riverside County District Attorney’s office.

Gatt appeared in the fourth season of “Game of Thrones.” (Photo by Leon Bennett)

In the documents, Gatt stated that he had lost professional opportunities after the defendants issued a statement to the press in which he was branded as a serial pedophile.

“Gatt was immediately cancelled and what had previously been a burgeoning acting career was destroyed,” the complaint reads. “Gatt’s agent and PR representatives dropped him immediately, he was fired from two different movies in which he had already been cast, and he was also recast in a third movie in which he had been hired to play the lead role.

“Moreover, at least two other movies he had already filmed almost totally cut his scenes or reshot them with different actors, and he was not invited to attend the premieres. Gatt immediately stopped receiving any further role offers or audition opportunities, and instead received numerous death threats and was stalked and chased by a Daily Mail reporter.”

The documents stated that Gatt had hired a private forensic investigator to examine the evidence. The lawsuit alleged that the defendants refused to allow the investigator to present his findings in court and had the case dismissed.

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According to the lawsuit, Gatt has not worked as an actor since the arrest and had to sell his high-performance car, a Ford Shelby GT 500, to cover his legal expenses.

“As a direct result of Defendants’ reckless investigation and malicious prosecution, Gatt has suffered immeasurable mental anguish and emotional distress that made him physically ill, and his reputation has been utterly destroyed,” the lawsuit claimed.

Gatt stated that he hasn’t worked as an actor since his arrest. (Photo by Albert L. Ortega)

According to the lawsuit, Gatt is seeking “to recover the more than $40 million in damages that he has suffered as a result of Defendants’ violations of his constitutional rights.”

Representatives for the L.A. District Attorney’s Office and the LAPD did not immediately respond to Fox News Digital’s request for comment. 

In a statement to Fox News Digital, Dean Z. Pamphilis, a partner with Kasowitz Benson Torres LLP and Gatt’s attorney wrote, “The arrest and charges against Mr. Gatt—for which he was branded by the Los Angeles DA and LAPD as a serial pedophile — were based on fabricated evidence.”

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“Twenty months later, when the fabricated evidence was finally disclosed to Mr. Gatt and Mr. Gatt’s forensic expert were prepared to expose the truth in open court, the Los Angeles DA voluntarily dismissed the criminal complaint,” Pamphilis continued. “Mr. Gatt, however, had already lost his community, his acting career and his personal reputation. We look forward to recovering Mr. Gatt’s enormous losses in court.”

Gatt is represented by Pamphilis, J. Michael Wilson, Daniel A. Saunders and Sara Wolfe.

The actor played Thenn Warg in the fourth season of “Game of Thrones.” He also is known for portraying “The Albino” in the Cinemax action show “Banshee.” Other credits include roles in movies including “Black Adam,” “Dumbo,” “Titanic 666” and “The Retaliators.”

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