Woman Says Donald Duck Groped Her

Did Disney’s eternally overreacting duck mascot put the moves on a woman visiting Epcot Center a couple of years ago? That’s what the woman claims happened; in her lawsuit, she says a park employee dressed as Donald Duck grabbed her breast and molested her, “then made gestures making a joke indicating he had done something wrong.” She’s asking for $50,000.

“Grope Claim Against Donald Duck” [The Smoking Gun via BoingBoing]

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  1. Jevia says:

    Disney always fights lawsuits, they don’t settle. Good luck.

  2. suez says:

    It took her two years? Massive physical injury? Really?

    Now, I’m a woman and I know that gropping can happen. However, this just doesn’t pass the sniff test. And to be fair, those mascot outfits are anything but comfy, and they have poor visibility. When you’re hugging hundreds of people on a daily basis, the odds of accidentally touching someone on the breast are pretty high. The fact the “offender” immediately realized it and “made gestures making a joke indicating he had done something wrong” might just indicate he realized he’d done something wrong. Accidents happen.

    I absolutely don’t get where the physical injury part comes in.

    • CRCError1970 says:

      My mother was a character at WDW for several years. She has told me that most costumes are *extremely* hard to see out of. She tells me that a good analog would be to make a pair of binoculars from empty paper towel rolls and attach those to your eyes.

      Couple that with the fact that they are not allowed to break character for any reason. That includes absolutely NO talking. Donald has no choice but to mime anything he must say to someone.

      The Disney standard for an apology is to raise both hands to your characters mouth/cheeks and bow your head in a sheepish manner. Characters with more mobility such as Minnie will also add a curtsy.

      • Mr.Grieves says:

        Thank you, that was a fascinating bit of insight into the life of Donald Duck, seriously I like finding this stuff out lol.

  3. Conformist138 says:

    Saw this recently. Reminded me of my senior trip to Disneyland. My friends waited with me to get a picture with Eeyore (yeah, I’m kinda sad like that) and we were routed past Winnie the Pooh first. A male friend of mine freaked out right after, said Pooh Bear reached down and cupped his rear and gave it a squeeze. He was relieved to find out that most costumed characters are women.

    • pop top says:

      That guy should be really thankful that Pooh was a woman, otherwise he might’ve turned gay or something.

      • Conformist138 says:

        *Eye roll* yeah, that was totally it. We’re homophobic rednecks so we were scared of the gay cooties. No, he was 18 and like to imagine some cute college co-ed feeling him up since it was a better fantasy than some guy. Either way, the person was in a stinky sweaty bear suit.

      • evnmorlo says:

        Since gays are a minority, a guy who grabs another guy’s ass knows that it is almost certainly wholly unwelcome; his victim is thus justified in interpreting the grab as a perverted assault.

        • coren says:

          Whereas a woman touching me in public is totally welcome, because guys love that shit.

        • watch me boogie says:

          Right, because hetero stranger-ass-grabbing is just totally fine and not perverted.

          Oh, I forgot, gay stuff is perverted-er, because, like, gay stuff is gross and stuff.

          • sonneillon says:

            Yes.

            I welcome any women of the hetero persuasion to grab my ass as long as I am not doing something that requires my full attention. Wait till I’m finished then grab the Charmin.

    • catastrophegirl chooses not to fly says:

      minnie mouse is almost always a guy and the taller characters [above 5’10” like jafar, queen of hearts, maleficient] are almost always male.
      face characters [where it’s not a head or a mask] have to be the gender of the character.
      worked there for 7 years, mickey mouse used to be my roommate. actually she was donald, dopey, and meeko a lot but never minnie because minnie is costumed in a spandex leotard under her skirt and minnie mouse doesn’t have boobs.
      but donald duck is often played a woman, never met one who wasn’t actually.
      as for the sexual preferences of any of the performers i knew, that was all over the map

  4. yessongs says:

    Oh Pooh!

  5. dbeahn says:

    What did she expect, walking up to a 65 year old sailor that wasn’t wearing any pants?

  6. Oranges w/ Cheese says:

    Meh, the stories I have heard about the people in disney costumes. Namely, Pinocchio is not supposed to have breasts. Oh and the people dressed as Alice or Snow white out back smoking. Hah.

    • catastrophegirl chooses not to fly says:

      i know a pinocchio who was played by a girl. the jacket covers up an A cup. was really kind of stressful for her one day when an argentinian teenager decided to see if she could get a little fellatio practice in on pinnochio. she had no idea how to respond. fortunately her lead [handler] was able to get the girl to let go without a struggle
      the argentinian teenager part matters because it was part of a cultural traditional tour group from argentina or brazil- rich kids get sent to disney for a week with a group the year they are 15. we used to take bets [when i worked there] as to whether there would be more busts for nudity or shoplifting. these were pretty sheltered kids who were suddenly without parental control for a while and went kind of wild.

  7. Sparty999 says:

    a couple of years ago? come on…

  8. "I Like Potatoes" says:

    Oh, the nightmares this woman must have…

  9. Eat The Rich -They are fat and succulent says:

    I call BS on this. It took her two years? Really?

    And if you look at those costumes, the people inside them can barely see, and have tons of padding and cloth covering them. The hands have these HUGE floofy gloves where you probably cannot even tell what you are doing with them other than making broad gestures.

    Also, the severity and nature of her injuries sounds like she was run over by a golf cart rather then being hugged by a person wrapped in foam rubber.

    B.S. Next case!

    • nucwin83 says:

      It’s true that you can barely see, and the costumes are padded and hot as hell, but hands on a lot of characters are simply gloved, which would indeed allow for groping.

      As far as this woman’s claim… yeah, it’s complete BS. Just reading over that filing, you gotta imagine the slimy lawyer who drafted it probably has it saved in form format so he can just put in defendant and plaintiff names.

      • catastrophegirl chooses not to fly says:

        true, they sign autographs all day and the technically have to forge them [there’s a class on it so all the performers signing as a character have the same signature] they gloves are pretty flexible.

        and they see pretty well through the heads, their line of sight isn’t always where you expect. for example: pluto holds the pen and autograph book up to pluto’s eyes to sign. this is actually pluto signing ABOVE the performer’s line of sight. the see through part of the head is under pluto’s mouth.
        it’s like a scrim, if you know the theatre term. fine painted mesh on the outside, when the light is in front of it [sunlight from the outside world] then it looks opaque] but when the light is behind it it’s perfectly see through for the performer to see you.
        [used to work there, never as a costumed character although i knew many people who did]

    • Loias supports harsher punishments against corporations says:

      Peopole often don’t realize it’s common for lawsuits to be filed right before the statute of limitation kicks in. Getting all your ducks in a row and whatnot…

    • jamar0303 says:

      And yet, furries exist…

  10. Mama Mayhem says:

    Considering the height restrictions for the character, it was probably a female inside the costume (and a very petite one at that) so good luck to her proving that “he” molested her. This woman is a quack (pun intended).

  11. dreamfish says:
    • Eat The Rich -They are fat and succulent says:

      *snorts coffee all over monitor*

      OMG! That damn pervy duck! I bet they use that as an exhibit in the court case. What more proof do you need!

      Thank you for the best laugh I have had all day! *cleans monitor of coffee*

      • Rachacha says:

        Plaintif’s argument should go something like this:

        1) Review all Donald Duck movies and shorts, look for any possible “inappropriate acts” or instances where he was suspected of being unfaithful to Daisy. The above photo would be uncluded in this.
        2) Call Daisy Duck in as a character witness. As per Disney protocol, she would have to remain silent, a clear sign that she does not want to incriminate her boyfriend.
        3) Call in Hewey, Dewey & Louie, to see if their uncle acted inappropriately.
        4) Call into evidence all Donald Duck photos with tourists that were snapped by park photographers looking for any similar actions.

        But in all seriousness, I don’t see this case going very far.

  12. Seattle-Guy says:

    Three years ago? Nope, not buying it. You are either immediately offended or not. Three years later is simply financial opportunism.

    • Loias supports harsher punishments against corporations says:

      So a plaintiff is to file a lawsuit immediately after the incident, thus giving him/her no time to prepare their case, have the lawyer research case law, and probably lose to lack of preparedness?

      • Stoli says:

        Pretty much. You get the ball rolling. Can you give any reasons why it would take three years to “get prepared”?

  13. DaveWW says:

    Pics or it didn’t happen.

  14. RickinStHelen says:

    Was there a police report right after the alleged groping, or a complaint to the park? If not, didn’t happen. How else are they supposed to identify the alleged groper. Donald Duck isn’t real, but two years down the road expecting Disney to know which employee was in the duck suit is a bit unrealistic. Looks like a money grab to me.

  15. Captain Walker says:

    Slate seems to think the plaintiff(s) will lose: http://www.slate.com/id/2263746/

  16. chiieddy says:

    Isn’t Donald Duck, like Mickey Mouse, generally played by a female employee due to height restrictions?

  17. pantheonoutcast says:

    I need $50,000. Perhaps I should sue the mall Santa from 30 years ago who accidentally touched my knee as my mom was lifting me onto his lap. You know, for emotional distress. Or the clown from that fat kid’s birthday party who hit me on the head with a balloon and humiliated me in front of the other children.

    There has to be some innocuous incident that occurred years ago that I can blow out of proportion for a quick and easy payday…otherwise, what’s the sense of living in America?

  18. Pax says:

    … FFS.

    The people inside those costumes can hardly SEE anything. That’s why Disney generally assigns other employees as “handlers”, to help guide the Characters around (and avoid having them collide forcefully with a dozen people an hour).

    All that means one thing: the person in the Donald Duck costume ony has a vague, imprecise idea of where any given guest is located. Reaching for a shoulder for a friendly hug, can “go horribly wrong” if their impression is only a couple of inches off.

  19. Wysguy says:

    “and will in the future be unable to attend to her usual duties and occupation”

    from a boob squeeze? Really? Two years ago? How hard did it get squeezed? to force it out her back? Ok, not having first hand knowledge of getting groped by Donald Duck, I admit I don’t know what kind of pain that would incur, but my wife seems to enjoy it when I squeeze hers every once in awhile…

    Wow.

  20. diasdiem says:

    I’d be freaked out if some guy who wasn’t wearing pants groped me too.

  21. pot_roast says:

    I read the complaint. I think this woman is nothing more than a money grubbing attention seeker. Or she was already seriously mentally disturbed. she’s claiming PTSD, flashbacks, digestive problems, anxiety, and ‘severe emotional injuries.’ Also “suffered a severe shock to her entire nervous system.” All because an employee wearing a 75 pound duck costume brushed against her breast.

    Wow. Just.. wow. Sounds like someone that is hoping for some quick cash, as the lawsuit is a mere $50,000. Absolutely ridiculous and I hope they throw it out while laughing at her mercilessly.

  22. BadgerPudding says:

    What a liar.

  23. pot_roast says:

    Oh yeah, the other ‘groping’ case involving Tigger? Wound up going to TRIAL and the guy was acquitted. Disney gave him his job back with back pay, but he has been unable to play Tigger. His own choice – the guy is scared to death of this happening again. He was facing 15 YEARS in prison and felony charges all because some woman said Tigger touched her 13 year old. The prosecution found that the mother was also trying to claim groping and that she was suing Disney over this.
    They were after money. The employee? What recourse does he have? He was just dragged through a trial based on nothing more than the accusations of a greedy woman. That’s scary.

  24. attackgypsy says:

    Having worn similar costumes through the years, I can easily see how this could have happened completely accidentally. Your vision is severely restricted. If it isn’t directly in front of your eye sockets, you can’t see it at all. Your vision is blocked by the costume.

    I don’t know how many times I’ve bumped into or tripped over kids running around. You just don’t see them. This is why I much prefer makeup and appliances to full head costumes. Takes longer, but much safer in the long run. Less accidents.

    • raydee wandered off on a tangent and got lost says:

      Yeah. When we had Children’s Hour at the bookstore where I worked, I was Clifford a few times. I needed to have a coworker guide me around because I COULD NOT SEE the two-foot-tall toddlers that surrounded me. I could have easily stepped on kids, knocked them over, touched them inappropriately with the huge paw-gloves … I would not have been able to tell because all I could see was the ceiling and the inside of the mask.

  25. savdavid says:

    Just how much of this lady do you think Donald could feel through those gloves? Really, Lady, you are silly.

  26. AllanG54 says:

    About 30 years ago my sister claimed the same thing happened but I knew it was a mistake. I don’t think she’s more than an A cup. She laughed it off anyway.

  27. sufreak says:

    We need to have fines and punishments for frivolous lawsuits.

  28. Danny Boy says:

    Wow…did you read the physical injury section? Donald Duck should be headed to Guantanamo Bay. Waterboard em’!! Effin’ duck!!

  29. Alex says:

    And the current employment status of this employee IS….?

  30. sheldonmoon69 says:

    Not only do we have to worry about our elected representatives in congress; we also need to be on the lookout for judges who don’t throw these types of cases out!

    $50,000??? Emotional distress? What, did hundreds of people see this happen and point and laugh at her? Please… Give me a break!

  31. Bodger says:

    I know where she’s coming from. Ever since that Cylon at Universal Studios goosed me I haven’t been the same.

  32. The Marionette says:

    I call bs. Took 2 years and it’s painfully obvious that the senses aren’t exactly at their peek when having those costumes on, I should know because I wore some sort of a bear costume for my niece’s bday last year and I’m almost sure I stepped on 30 feet by the end of it all.

  33. MotorboatJones says:

    No way… D.D. wouldn’t do that!!

  34. bigcountrybaloo says:

    A petit female friend of mine worked as a character at a Northern California theme park for a few years. She said character always had a handler with them at all times while in public areas of the park, primarily to act as a witness. She said that it was not uncommon for the female characters to be groped by patrons, and that many staff members who worked as characters spent half their time in court and would get a good number of payouts from patrons.