Povich seeks gag order in harass case

A lawyer for TV talk-show host Maury Povich has asked an arbitrator hearing a sexual-harassment complaint against him to issue a gag order, a request opposed by the lawyer for the female employee who made the charge.

Povich's lawyer, Kathleen McKenna, requested the confidentiality order in a letter Tuesday to the arbitration case manager. McKenna said Bruce Baron, lawyer for the woman, was attempting to try the case in the news media.

Baron, who made McKenna's letter public Wednesday, said he objected to a person who made his living by getting people to embarrass themselves on TV requesting a gag order and trying to hide his own embarrassment.

Baron's client is Bianca Nardi, 28, of Fort Lee, N.J. A former producer for "The Maury Povich Show," she filed a lawsuit in April saying some of her supervisors barraged her with sexual remarks and made her watch porno movies, wear revealing clothing and expose her body.

Nardi's lawsuit, filed in Manhattan's state Supreme Court, says she had an unfairly heavy workload because she did jobs assigned to a producer who had an intimate relationship with Povich and often refused to do her own work.

The case was sent to arbitration by a judge who ruled that a clause in Nardi's contract required it in the event of an employer-employee dispute.

McKenna's letter said she would raise the confidentiality issue during a telephone conference on Wednesday. Baron said the arbitrator said she would consider McKenna's request.