Jessica Steindorff, a talent manager whose Toyota Prius was involved in the accident in February, and who has filed a personal injury lawsuit against Jenner, is appalled that Jenner was the recipient of the Arthur Ashe Courage Award at the ESPYs Wednesday night and will celebrate the premiere of her reality show I Am Cait later this month.
“I find it difficult to understand how the culture we live in can honor a person who is responsible for taking a life and injuring several others with both an award and a reality show,” Steindorff told ET in a statement. “For an individual who is such a positive role model in many aspects of her life, Caitlyn has failed to do the right thing and take responsibility for her actions.”
The accident is still under investigation, and no charges have been filed. However, Jenner is the subject of a wrongful death suit filed by the stepchildren of victim Kim Howe, as well as Steindorff’s lawsuit, which states that Jenner caused the crash by driving “negligently, carelessly, recklessly and wantonly” and seeks more than $25,000 in damages. Investigators are expected to turn the case over to the district attorney’s office this week, according to TMZ, and it’s possible that Jenner will be charged with involuntary vehicular manslaughter, a misdemeanor.
Jenner, who is cooperating with authorities in their investigation, said in a statement after the accident: “My heartfelt and deepest sympathies go out to the family and loved ones, and to all of those who were involved or injured in this terrible accident. It is a devastating tragedy and I cannot pretend to imagine what this family is going through at this time. I am praying for them. I will continue to cooperate in every way possible.”
Steindorff was a guest at the ESPY Awards, where Jenner, in her acceptance speech, pleaded for others to show compassion and understanding towards transgender people.
“I would hope that someone who seems to greatly value the importance of human existence would be more sensitive to the fact that she ended another person’s life,” Steindorff told ET in her statement. “Sadly we are living in a tabloid society.”
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