A former "Price Is Right" model who says she was harassed and discriminated against for being pregnant has sued CBS and show producer Fremantle Media.
According to the lawsuit filed Monday in state Superior Court in Los Angeles, Brandi Cochran was a model on the game show from July 2002 until last Tuesday, when, as her maternity leave came to a close, she found out that she'd been fired.
She states that since the on-air announcement of her pregnancy late in 2008, "The Price is Right" producers "discriminated against, harassed, and retaliated against Cochran, including making remarks about her pregnancy, her appearance, her weight, and her eating habits." She added that she was removed from the show's website, and was not allowed to return to work after her pregnancy leave.
Cochran also added that she witnessed the harassment of two other models, including one who was fired, because she also became pregnant. The lawsuit details other forms of verbal harassment that intensified as she got closer to her maternity leave, from both male and female producers, including one who said "Wide load coming through!" as she walked past.
CBS declined to comment late Monday; messages left for Fremantle were not immediately returned Monday evening.
The complaint alleges, among other things, discrimination on the basis of pregnancy; retaliation for complaints of discrimination and harassment; wrongful termination; breach of contract; privacy violations; and fraud. It does not specify damages sought.
The show has a history of litigation by its models. Dian Parkinson, who joined the show in 1975, left the show in 1993 "to pursue other interests" as stated by then-host Bob Barker; the following year she sued, claiming he had been sexually harassing her since the 1980s. She withdrew the lawsuit in 1995.
It was reported that original model Holly Hallstrom was dismissed that year for gaining weight due to medical treatments, though she alleged she was let go because she wouldn’t take Barker’s side in his feud with Parkinson.
Barker later sued Hallstrom for slander and libel; she countersued him for wrongful termination and age and weight discrimination. Hallstrom won the battle, including a multimillion dollar settlement.
Two other models also caught up in the drama won out-of-court settlements after filing for wrongful termination.
Pamela Chelin contributed reporting for this story.