Victoria Rowell Claims She Was Spit on, Suffered ‘Racially Charged Attacks’ in ‘Y&R’ Legal Feud

Actress alleges she was retaliated against after complaining about lack of diversity on daytime soap

Last Updated: June 30, 2015 @ 3:47 PM

Victoria Rowell has added more fuel to the fire in her lawsuit against Sony Pictures Television and CBS, with the actress claiming that she was spit on and subjected to “various racially charged attacks” on the set of “The Young and the Restless.”

In a declaration filed earlier this month, Rowell said that she was mistreated as the result of a “lack of racial equity” on the set of the soap opera.

In one instance, Rowell claims, Melody Thomas Scott — who plays Nikki Newman on the series — “ran onto the set dancing wildly and wearing an oversized Afro wig to mock my Afro-styled hair that day.”

Rowell also alleges that Michelle Stafford, who portrayed Phyllis Summers on the show, “spat on me on set, called me a ‘freak,’ then screamed, ‘no one here likes you.’

“Ms. Stafford later publicly admitted that she did so in collaboration with the white director Noel Maxam, and then-producer Edward Scott,” the declaration reads.

Rowell also alleges that “Y&R” cast member Peter Bergman “publicly called me mentally unstable and physically threatened me on set.”

The actress, who played Drucilla Barber Winters on the soap from 1990 to 2007, sued Sony and CBS Television Distribution, claiming that she was  wasn’t re-hired in retaliation for her “public and private complaints regarding the lack of diversity in front of and behind the camera on the show.”

CBS said that the lawsuit has “no merit.”

“We were disappointed to learn that, after leaving the cast of ‘The Young and the Restless’ on her own initiative, Ms. Rowell has attempted to rewrite that history through lawyers’ letters and a lawsuit that has no merit.  We harbor no ill will toward Ms. Rowell, but we will vigorously defend this case,” CBS said in a statement at the time.

In a subsequent motion to dismiss the suit, CBS and Sony asserted, “This lawsuit is nothing more than a blatant attempt by Plaintiff to force her way back onto a daytime television soap opera after she voluntarily resigned from her role in 2007.”

Pamela Chelin contributed to this report.