Adam Savage, the former host of Mythbusters, has been accused of “repeatedly” sexually abusing his younger sister for years in the late 1970s, starting when she was just 7 years old and he was 9, a new lawsuit filed Tuesday states.
Miranda Savage Pacchiana, 51, alleges in the lawsuit filed in Westchester Supreme Court that her older brother called himself “the raping blob” as he sexually assaulted her between 1976 and 1979, when the two lived in Sleepy Hollow, New York—masking the abuse as a game between siblings.
“As a child, this experience shook my sense of safety and crushed my self-confidence,” Pacchiana said in a video press conference Tuesday, according to the New York Daily News. “I will never wake up one morning and stop being a survivor of child rape.”
According to the lawsuit obtained by The Daily Beast, during the alleged three-year abuse, “Savage would repeatedly rape Miranda Pacchiana and force oral sex upon her, and forced Miranda to perform oral sex on him, along with other forms of sexual abuse.” Savage is also accused of preventing Pacchiana from leaving her bed and of anally raping her.
Pacchiana, who filed the lawsuit under the New York Child Victims Act, is seeking unspecified damages for the abuse that she says has left her with “serious and several psychological injuries and emotional distress, mental anguish, embarrassment, and humiliation.”
Savage, the 52-year-old best known as the former co-host of the Discovery Channel’s Mythbusters, denied the allegations his sister lodged against him on Tuesday and said he hopes she “gets the help she needs to find peace” because “this needs to end.”
“For many years, she has relentlessly and falsely attacked me and other members of my family to anyone who will listen,” Savage said in a statement to The Daily Beast through his lawyer, Andrew Brettler. “By spreading numerous untrue stories about us in pursuit of a financial bonanza, she has tortured our entire family and estranged herself from all of us. I will fight this groundless and offensive lawsuit and work to put this to rest once and for all.”
Karen Savage, his mother, also issued a statement to The Daily Beast denying the allegations on Tuesday. “It makes me very sad to say this, but my daughter suffers from severe mental health challenges, and it’s devastating that she’s putting Adam and our entire family through this. Adam is a good man, and I support him completely,” she said.
Pacchiana’s lawyer, Jordan K. Merson, said Tuesday that his client “has been deeply affected, has suffered significant emotional distress and psychological and psychiatric injuries.”
“The prolific abuse by Mr. Savage as alleged in the Complaint has caused irreparable damage to my client that she will live with for the rest of her life,” Merson said in a statement to the New York Post. “Today is the first step in the direction of healing and justice.”
Pacchiana, a social worker in Connecticut, also detailed her alleged abuse in The Second Wound, a website for survivors of sexual abuse.
In a post published Tuesday, Pacchiana reiterated the allegations she made in the lawsuit and said she last spoke with Savage “over two decades ago” to address his “callous attitude about the abuse and his apparent disregard for the damage he had caused.” In the post, Pacchiana said Savage “chose not to acknowledge or show any compassion for my pain” in their last conversation.
“While nothing can give back what Adam Savage took from me, I hope this lawsuit will also demonstrate to my fellow survivors that we do not deserve to carry the shame of sexual abuse and assault,” Pacchiana wrote.