‘Nightmare Before Christmas’ Composer Accused of Sexual Harassment, Pays Huge Settlement

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Jack Skellington standing on top of the spiral hill

Credit: Touchstone Pictures/Disney

The Nightmare Before Christmas composer Danny Elfman is reported to have paid an enormous settlement in a sexual harassment dispute to a fellow composer and is now being sued for failing to make the payments.

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Credit: Disney

According to an extensive report by Rolling Stone, the musician behind The Nightmare Before Christmas (1993), The Simpsons, Wednesday, Beetlejuice (1988), Batman (1989), and Edward Scissorhands (1990) was alleged in 2018 by fellow composer Nomi Abadi to have exposed himself and committed lewd acts in front of her over the course of the year.

Nomi Abadi’s allegations against legendary composer Danny Elfman were extremely graphic and eventually led to complaints apparently filed with the Los Angeles Police Department (which stated it has “no information to provide and no statement”).

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The dispute eventually led to a massive $830,000 settlement from Danny Elfman to Nomi Abadi, which was to be paid in a number of installments. According to Abadi, the voice behind Jack Skellington has failed to make several of those payments and has triggered a new lawsuit against him.

In a lengthy statement, Danny Elfman said:

“How do I respond to accusations so serious that being innocent is not a valid defense? It is excruciating to consider that a 50-year career may be destroyed in one news cycle as a result of vicious and wholly false allegations about sexual misconduct… Ms. Abadi’s allegations are simply not true. I allowed someone to get close to me without knowing that I was her ‘childhood crush’ and that her intention was to break up my marriage and replace my wife. When this person realized that I wanted distance from her, she made it clear that I would pay for having rejected her. I allowed an ill-advised friendship to have far-reaching consequences, and that error in judgment is entirely my fault. I have done nothing indecent or wrong, and my lawyers stand ready to prove with voluminous evidence that these accusations are false. This is the last I will say on this subject.”

Danny Elfman began his career in professional music as the leader and vocalist of the Los Angeles New Wave band Oingo Boingo, eventually transitioning to work composing films scores with the Tim Burton cult classic film Pee-wee’s Big Adventure (1985), starring Paul Reubens.

This established one of the more lasting composer-filmmaker partnerships in history, with Danny Elfman providing music for nearly 20 Tim Burton projects up to the current day. Elfman has composed numerous scores for the Walt Disney Company since 1997, including most recently for the live-action remake of Dumbo (2019).

Nightmare before christmas Jack Skellington danny elfman
Credit: Disney

His arguably most famous work, The Nightmare Before Christmas, was produced by Tim Burton and directed by Henry Selick; in addition to composing the music, Danny Elfman provided the singing voice of the Pumpkin King Jack Skellington.

Related: ‘The Nightmare Before Christmas’ Releasing Loaded 4K Edition

Reportedly, Nomi Abadi signed a non-disclosure agreement upon the initial settlement and has not made a public statement regarding the Danny Elfman dispute. However, her attorney Jeff Anderson of the firm Anderson & Associates, said (per Variety), “Elfman has said that his relationship to Nomi Abadi was platonic and consensual. His account is as bizarre as his conduct towards her was years ago. It was not platonic. It was bizarre.”

Does this change your feelings on Danny Elfman and his work? Let us know in the comments below.



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