Brian Wayne Foster: Why Critical Role's Ashley Johnson & 6 Women Are Suing The Former Talk Show Host (2024)

Summary

  • Brian Wayne Foster, host of Talks Machina, is being sued by seven women, including ex-fiancée Ashley Johnson, for alleged emotional and physical abuse.
  • Foster's behavior reportedly included punching through glass, threatening to release personal information unless paid, and harassing and groping other women.
  • The lawsuit seeks unspecified damages and an injunction requiring Foster to stay away from Johnson, her sister, and their mother.

Brian Wayne Foster, host of the Critical Role companion show Talks Machina, is being sued by seven women, including his ex-fiancée and The Last of Us voice actress, Ashley Johnson. Critical Role is a web series where professional voice actors play a game of Dungeons & Dragons live for viewers. A surprise smash hit, the series has led to several associated licensed works, including the acclaimed animated adaptation, The Legend of Vox Machina on Netflix. Critical Role has encompassed three main campaigns and plenty of smaller ones as the show has continued.

The voice actors involved include some notable names in the industry, like Ashley Johnson, who provided Ellie's voice and mo-cap performance in The Last of Us franchise. Along with the voice actors is an ecosystem of entertainers surrounding Critical Role, including the hosts of Talks Machina, a weekly talk show that goes over what happened previously on Critical Role. Brian Wayne Foster was the main host of the series until August 2021. But in July 2023, Critical Role Productions removed nearly all their content featuring Foster.

Critical Role's Ashley Johnson & 6 Women Are Suing Brian Wayne Foster For Abuse

Johnson Claims Foster Has A History Of Emotional And Physical Abuse

In 2023, it was reported that Ahsley Johnson was filing a restraining order against her former partner, Brian Wayne Foster (via USA Today). The order was issued after Foster allegedly tried to extort $150,000 from Johnson. Johnson also cited a history of verbal abuse by Foster as a reason for the restraining order. Johnson wrote in the filing,

"My family members have been the subject of his [Foster's] outbursts, drug use, threats, and sexual assaults... They are fearful that he is close to the edge, has the ability to murder, and will cause harm not only to me, but to them."

She also described her ex-fiancé as having, "[a] very unhinged mind from his addictive use of narcotics". This restraining order was followed up by a civil lawsuit, filed by Johnson against Foster, in October 2023 (via The Wrap). This lawsuit, filed in Los Angeles Superior Court, was joined by six other women including Johnson’s sister, Haylie Langseth, and two other employees of Critical Role, who remain anonymous.

The lawsuit alleges physically and emotionally abusive behavior exhibited by Foster. It reads that Foster subjected Johnson to,

"...consistent acts of physical intimidation including but not limited to punching through glass, throwing objects and screaming obscenities in [Johnson’s] face..."

It also asserts that when Foster refused to move out of their home, he threatened to release personal information about Johnson unless she paid him $150,000. The lawsuit also alleges that Foster harassed and groped other women, including employees of Critical Role Productions, with a portion of the lawsuit stating,

"Fueled by chronic abuse of drugs and alcohol, defendant Brian Wayne Foster has, for the last decade, demonstrated a disturbing pattern and practice of chilling and depraved behavior towards women. The women unfortunate enough to have crossed his path were subjected to a common thread of physical and sexual violence as well as mental and emotional abuse. Foster has left a trail of victims whose lives he sought to control through various lies, threats, intimidation and manipulation."

In an August 2023 court filing, Foster alleges that "most of the profanities I am alleged to have yelled at Ashley never happened". He also claims he has been sober for two-and-a-half years. The plaintiffs are still seeking unspecified damages and an injunction requiring Foster to stay away from Johnson, Langseth, and their mother.

Brian Wayne Foster & Ashley Johnson's Relationship Timeline

Foster And Johnson Were Introduced By Johnson's Co-Star

Brian Wayne Foster: Why Critical Role's Ashley Johnson & 6 Women Are Suing The Former Talk Show Host (2)

Brian Wayne Foster and Ashley Johnson first began dating in 2012, before Critical Role or Talks Machina began, and were introduced by Johnson's The Last of Us co-star and Foster's former roommate, Troy Baker, via The World of Critical Role. Foster and Johnson later got engaged in 2018, via Instagram, and stayed engaged until early 2023, at which point they separated.

Brian Wayne Foster & Ashley Johnson Relationship Timeline

Year

Event

2012

Johnson and Foster begin dating

2018

Johnson and Foster are engaged

2019

Johnson alleges Foster's behavior got worse

2023

Johnson breaks up with Foster

Brian Wayne Foster: Why Critical Role's Ashley Johnson & 6 Women Are Suing The Former Talk Show Host (3)
Critical Role

Fantasy

Adventure

Livestreamed weekly on Twitch since 2015, Critical Role brings together a group of professional voice actors as they play through a series of elaborate Dungeons and Dragons campaigns. Originally produced by Geek & Sundry, the series garnered a large and devoted fanbase during the first campaign, allowing the cast to create their own company in 2018. Matthew Mercer heads each campaign as Dungeon Master, with a cast that includes Ashley Johnson, Travis Willingham, Laura Bailey, Liam O'Brien, Taliesin Jaffe, and Marisha Ray.

Cast
Matthew Mercer , Sam Riegel , travis willingham , Laura Bailey , marisha ray , Orion Acaba , Taliesin Jaffe , Liam O'Brien , Ashley Johnson

Release Date
March 12, 2015

Seasons
3

Showrunner
Brandon Auman
Brian Wayne Foster: Why Critical Role's Ashley Johnson & 6 Women Are Suing The Former Talk Show Host (2024)

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