NEW YORK – Michael Nader, the hunky actor formerly known as Dimitri on All My Children, is suing ABC for bouncing him from the soap opera because of his drug addiction.
Nader claims ABC not only violated his contract but also the Americans with Disabilities Act when it fired him in September 2001.
His lawsuit, filed in Manhattan federal court, says he has a "chemical dependency," which is covered by the law that protects disabled employees from discrimination.
After his 2001 drug bust, Nader went into rehab for a month, as required by contract. He was ready to go back to work after rehab, but claims ABC told him to stay out on medical leave. The actor's lawsuit says ABC indicated to him that it intended to honor his contract.
But in the fall of 2001, ABC told him he no longer had a job, his suit claims.
Nader, 57, was busted in February 2001 at an unlicensed East Village nightclub for allegedly selling an undercover cop a $20 bag of cocaine.
At the time, he was playing Dimitri Yakov Marick, the rich, Hungarian count who wreaks his share of havoc on All My Children.
The role netted him $436,800 per year under a four-year-contract with ABC, which was to pay him more than $1.7 million total, according to court records.
In 1997, Nader was nabbed for allegedly brawling with cops and for drunken driving -- with his then-13-year-old daughter, Lindsay Michelle, in the passenger seat.
In the suit, he is demanding that ABC pay him back wages, as well as punitive and other damages, saying the network is refusing to allow him to work elsewhere.
"We don't comment on pending litigation," said an ABC spokesman.