Set dresser claims she was coerced into becoming a fellow crew member's boyfriend
If this weren't a lawsuit involving "90210," it certainly would have made a great script for the recently canceled CW drama.
In a complaint filed in Los Angeles Superior Court on Friday, Jamie Squillare claims that she was pressured for sex by the show's art-department leadman — and that the show did nothing to stop the alleged harasser's unwanted advances.
In the suit, Jamie Squillare claims that Michael Sunga, the leadman — the person responsible for the props and set dressers on set — promised to hire Squillare if she had sex with him.
Oh, and he also wanted Squillare's first month in wages in exchange for the job, the suit claims.
Squillare claims to have complied with the monetary aspect of the alleged agreement, cutting two checks to Sunga. However, the suit claims, almost as soon as Squillare began working on the series, Sunga "threatened to terminate her employment unless she agreed to be his girlfriend."
"Ms. Squillare initially resisted, but in response to Mr. Sunga's constant threats, eventually obliged," the suit reads.
The complaint alleges that Sunga "flaunted his relationship" with Squillare to his supervisor, Suzette Sheets, and "regularly tried to touch and kiss Ms. Squillare in public during the course of each workday." The suit claims that Squillare blocked Sunga's advances.
The nightmare grew worse, the suit alleges. According to the complaint, Sunga "incessantly badgered" Squillare to let him spend Christmas 2012 with her and her family in New Jersey and, in retaliation for being spurned — and Squillare's "unwillingness to engage in various illegal schemes" — Sunga "refused to tender her paycheck when it became due." He also spread a rumor on the set that Squillare had given him an STD, according to the complaint.
The suit claims that Sunga's supervisor and other employees on the show were aware of Sunga's "inappropriate conduct" toward Squillare, but no steps were taken to prevent it.
Squillare's suit says that Sunga fired her on Jan. 1, 2013, roughly six months after she started the "90210" gig.
CBS Television Studios, which is also named in the suit along with Sunga, EPSG Management Services, Eye Productions and 90210 Productions, told TheWrap that it had just become aware of the suit.
"We were just made aware of these allegations, therefore it is premature for us to comment at this time," the company said,
Alleging sexual harassment, failure to prevent discrimination, wrongful termination, retaliation and failure to pay wages, Squillare is seeking unspecified damages.
Pamela Chelin contributed to this report.