A former model on the long-running game show “The Price is Right” filed a sexual harassment lawsuit against the show’s producers on Wednesday, claiming sexual harassment, false imprisonment and wrongful termination.
In the civil complaint filed in the Los Angeles Superior Court, “fan favorite” since 2003 Lanisha Cole alleged that producers Michael G. Richards and Adam Sandler (not the well-known screen personalities) forced her to endure a hostile work environment starting in December 2009, when Richards suddenly broke off all direct communication.
Cole claimed that Richards then fabricated personnel policies with the specific intention of depriving her of work, none of which the other models were subjected to, and at one point Sandler entered the female dressing room without permission while she was partially nude to verbally berate her for failing to wear a microphone, despite this being no fault of her own.
According to the documents, Cole “suffered an extreme physical reaction to the stress” caused by the producers that she collapsed on the set, requiring the attention of a company medic just prior to lodging a formal complaint through the Human Resources department. The situation continued to deteriorate and she had no choice but to submit a resignation and file a complaint with the California Department of Fair Employment and Housing, the suit says.
“As outlined in the 20 page complaint, this case is about senior-level men in the entertainment industry exploiting power and control over women by bullying and harassing female talent. Ms. Cole did nothing to provoke Richards and Sandler. Once the harassment began, she was powerless to stop it,” said Solomon Gresen, an attorney from the Law Firm of Rheuban & Gresen, which is representing Ms. Cole in this suit.
Cole’s attorney also stressed that there are absolutely no allegations of wrongdoing against the famed “Price is Right” host, Drew Carey.
Cole is requesting a jury trial and monetary compensation for the alleged misconduct and associated medical and legal expenses.
The show’s production company, Fremantle North America, did not respond to a request for comment, and as CBS was not specifically named in the lawsuit they declined to comment.