PHILADELPHIA – A fired newscaster sued her former employer Thursday, alleging that the television station maliciously damaged her reputation and contributed to a number of her embarrassing off-camera episodes.
Alycia Lane sued KYW-TV in Philadelphia Common Pleas Court, alleging the station and its management deliberately got her personal life into the news in order to get free publicity. She is seeking unspecified damages.
A KYW spokeswoman told The Philadelphia Inquirer that the station has not seen the complaint and had no comment. A call by The Associated Press seeking comment was not immediately returned.
Lane was fired in January, a month after being arrested in New York City following a late-night scuffle with plainclothes police. In her lawsuit, she said she believed she was witnessing an assault on her boyfriend.
The lawsuit says the station told Lane to interview TV psychologist Phil McGraw in 2004 and suggested that she talk about some of her past relationships. She said she understood that inappropriate personal elements would be removed and was mortified when footage of her crying about her divorce was included in a heavily promoted KYW newscast.
The suit says that because of those decisions, Lane "was branded in the press as someone who sought to make herself the news, rather than to merely report the news."
Lane was also previously the target of critical news coverage after it was reported she had e-mailed photos of herself in a bikini to married NFL Network sports anchor Rich Eisen.
She said in the lawsuit that she sent the photo to Eisen because they were curious about whether someone else in the picture had met him.
Lane's suit also alleges that the station's management had a pattern of "deep-seated gender-discriminatory animus" toward female employees.
Lane's former co-anchor, Larry Mendte, isn't listed as a defendant. The FBI searched his home and removed a computer last month following allegations that someone might be reading Lane's e-mail messages.