Voice Actor, ADR Director Daman Mills Accused of Sexual Misconduct
posted on by Lynzee Loveridge
Update: 03/14/22: The alleged victim has retracted his accusations and issued the following statement to Anime News Network:
At this time, I wish to permanently retract my statements and allegations regarding Daman Mills. I wish to apologize for potential harm I have caused anyone involved with or affected by this incident.
Thank you for your understanding.
The original article begins below.
In a public document, an Ohio man has accused Evangelion film and Sonny Boy voice actor Daman Mills of groping him and masturbating next to him while he was asleep. According to the alleged victim, the incidents took place between 2014 and 2015, when the man was a high school student and Mills was 20 to 21 years old.
Mills, through a Cease and Desist letter sent to the alleged victim on February 18, asserts that the relationship was "consensual and mutual" and the allegations are "wholeheartedly false and without merit." The voice actor is asking that the allegations be retracted.
According to the man, who spoke to ANN over a video call and has asked to be called "Duncan" due to concerns over retaliation and privacy, he met Mills via Facebook when he was "just a shy, quiet, and anxious" 15-year-old boy. He said they began talking in December of 2012 when the yet-undiscovered voice actor was living in Hawaii. According to Duncan, they became familiar with one another through the fandub scene. Duncan told ANN that the friendship intensified, and Mills confessed sexual and romantic attraction which Duncan did not reciprocate. According to him, he wanted to be kind to Mills and did not want to end the friendship because of their different sexual orientations; however, he added that he was routinely explaining to Mills that they were not romantically involved over the several year friendship.
"I tried to be as nice as possible, while also stating I did not feel the same, but didn't want it to affect our friendship. He continued to talk to me every day, texting me constantly. Getting angry and emotionally attacking me if I did not respond as quickly as he did. He would often bring up that he felt sexually and emotionally attached to me; all of these things I would try to avoid," Duncan wrote in the public document.
Duncan said that Mills moved to Ohio in January 2014, approximately a year into their friendship. He said Mills' new home was about an hour from where Duncan lived with his mother and brother, and the two would see one another about once a month. Duncan claimed that the first time Mills stayed over at his house, he insisted that they sleep next to one another in the 16-year-old's twin-sized bed.
"I awoke that night to him heavily wrapped against me. Nose in my neck, and his entire arm up my shirt. He was caressing my bare body. I felt confused and outraged. This man I had been vulnerable to, taking advantage of my trust. I confronted him," Duncan wrote in the public document. He claimed that Mills denied being awake and the teen asked him to not do it again. According to Duncan, Mills behavior didn't stop and the sleep overs routinely included Mills asking to sleep in his bed followed by him waking up to being kissed, caressed, or having his hand moved toward Mills' genitals. On one occasion, Duncan said he awoke to discover Mills masturbating next to him in his bed.
"I was so alarmed, that it took me a couple days to bring this up to him. He then admitted to me that he had been pleasuring himself in my bed. He also told me he would get-off to the idea of me a lot. I feel so much shame for letting this go on for as long as it did, but also angered that someone who knows right from wrong would do these things," Duncan wrote in the public document.
Duncan claimed that on Mills' 21st birthday in 2014, Mills came to stay in Duncan's family home and spent "hours" attempting to persuade the 17-year-old boy to perform oral sex. He stated that Mills told him "friends help each other out sometimes."
"I am so happy now, that through the emotional abuse and mind games, that I didn't give in. However, I would still wake up to him kissing me in my sleep, and fondling me. Some of these things, I was too cowardly to even address," Duncan wrote in the public document. He said that Mills even sought out one of his other acquaintances in hopes of getting photos of Duncan in his underwear, under the pretense of it being a joke.
That acquaintance was Brian, who has asked us not to publish his last name due to privacy concerns. Brian said he was introduced to Mills through Duncan in approximately 2014. He and Duncan were friends forged over the internet and both teens took part in a Skype-based chat group that included other similarly-aged friends. The group often joked around and did "dumb shit" that Brian described as typical humor for the time. He said he took a video of Duncan in February 2014 and set a screenshot of his friend's face as his own profile photo on Facebook. In a screenshot Brian shared with ANN, Mills is shown to have messaged Brian and began asking for the video repeatedly, after Brian declined.
The above image has been edited so as not to reveal the alleged victim's name.
Brian told ANN that Mills would often make off-color comments on his and other boys' Facebook profiles and play it off as jokes, including statements like he was going to "rape" them.
"He would comment on Facebook posts and, you know, spell [rape] incorrectly to try and act like it's funny," Brian said. In one message from 2014 shared with ANN, Mills wrote to 16-year-old Brian that they should "fawk" and asked the teen to send nude photos of himself.
Brian said he was contacted by Mills the day after the voice actor's birthday, when Mills allegedly asked Duncan to perform oral sex. In the message screenshot shared with ANN, Mills stated that he and Duncan "never really dated" and that his feelings for the teenager were "unrequited."
The above image has been edited so as not to reveal the alleged victim's name.
Duncan told ANN that another incident allegedly took place outside of his home when he went to visit Mills in February 2015. Like previous incidents, Duncan said that Mills asked that they sleep in the same bed. Duncan stated he woke up that morning to Mills "prodding my penis through my shorts – and that's only what I was awake for." According to Duncan, he woke up mortified to which he said Mills only laughed. Duncan said he confronted Mills about it later and that Mills made him promise not to tell anyone.
When Duncan would try to talk to Mills about his interest in girls, he said the voice actor would tell him he was jealous or otherwise concerned that Duncan would abandon him if he entered a relationship with a girl. Facebook messages shared with ANN show that in 2015, Mills told Duncan that when the teenager found a significant other, it would hurt him. Additional Facebook messages from 2014 to 2015 show Mills discussed helping the teen masturbate, asked what kind of sexual acts he was interested in, and asked for a measurement of his penis.
Eventually, Duncan stated that his mother got involved and by March 2015 the two were no longer in regular contact. Duncan said that he never told his mother in depth what was going on.
"I didn't tell her about it for years because I felt ashamed, I guess. I was like, 'I'm a guy, I should feel like a man, you know? This isn't happening to me.' I tried to dismiss it in my head because I didn't know how to deal with it," he said. He told ANN that his mother thought it was strange that they were sharing a twin-sized bed and offered Mills the couch instead. According to Duncan, Mills became offended and accused his mother of assuming he would do something inappropriate just because of his sexual orientation.
Duncan said he felt trapped during the confrontation because he claims that Mills had already been inappropriate with him in his bed but he didn't want to say anything in front of Mills and his mother.
According to Brian, Mills began distancing himself from the friend group as a whole in 2015. When he reached out to Mills in May 2015 to ask why, Mills replied that he didn't "want to deal with [Duncan]" or "hear about what I've done wrong or anything between him and I." (Note: the linked image is edited so as not to reveal the alleged victim's name.)
"Because of all this stuff, everyone pretty much stopped talking to him. Duncan started opening up to more people about [the alleged incidents], I think? I don't know if Daman found out about it, or what, but he started very quickly cutting everybody off. He started badmouthing Duncan to his voice actor friends and people he knew in the industry," Brian said. "That's what I believe, because he was trying to distance himself from it as much as possible."
Duncan began seeing a girl and said he discovered that Mills had told their mutual acquaintances that he was a "liar" and a "bad friend," including to Duncan's own brother. Duncan stated that he confronted Mills who he claimed admitted to doing it because "making himself and others hate [you] made it a lot easier to move on." That same year, Mills was cast in the lead role of Media Blasters' Holy Knight anime OAV. In 2016 he was cast in his first lead role for Funimation as Jyungo in Nanbaka with additional roles in Yuri!!! on Ice, Cheer Boys!!, Touken Ranbu: Hanamaru, Trickster, and All Out!!
Mills told ANN that he has sought legal counsel and has been advised not to comment on the allegations. He sent the alleged victim a Cease and Desist letter on February 18. As well as claiming that the relationship was mutual and consensual and the allegations be retracted, Mills also demands that the alleged victim cease and desist from further contacting Mills' employers or contractors. He was given until February 25 to agree or face potential legal action, including potential liability for damages, costs, and expenses.
The age of consent in Ohio is 16 years old.
Daman Mills is represented by Kenneth J. Berke of Berke Law Group, A.P.C. in California.
When asked why he is coming forward after all these years, Duncan said his primary motivation is admitting that what happened to him was real.
"I'm just trying to get this story out there because this did happen. As unbiased as I can be, this all did happen to me and when things like this happen, people should feel comfortable speaking up about it."
this article has been modified since it was originally posted; see change history