Former 'Price Is Right' spokesmodel Lanisha Cole (Monty Brinton/CBS)
When model Lanisha Cole left the show in 2010, she was a "fan favorite," whose job was to gracefully reveal actual prices of household items to the viewing audience and contestants. But she alleges that backstage, for about a year, she endured very ugly treatment.
The 20-page civil complaint includes wrongful termination, wrongful sexual harassment, failure to take steps to prevent harassment, false imprisonment, and infliction of emotional distress.
The lawsuit states that Cole began working for the popular game show back in 2003, and enjoyed her job for years. All that changed in 2009, when Richards took an interest in another model and began to favor her -- and shun Cole. The suit claims that her work on the show was limited using policies "which never before existed."
Cole also details an incident where Sandler entered her dressing room without knocking despite a sign posted to do so, and berated the model for not wearing a microphone -- when she was wearing barely any clothes. Cole's attorney said of the account, "Sandler deliberately humiliated Ms. Cole in front of her peers."
Cole's attorney, Solomon Gresen, said in a statement, "This case is about senior-level men in the entertainment industry exploiting power and control over women by bullying and harassing female talent." He added, "Ms. Cole did nothing to provoke Richards and Sandler. Once the harassment began, she was powerless to stop it."
Cole complained about her harassment only after being called into a meeting regarding alleged harassment of another model. When the Pasadena native filed her suit, she was told she was "holding the show hostage," and she eventually left the show.
Host Drew Carey is not named in the lawsuit or blamed in any way. Cole is seeking a jury trial and monetary compensation to cover her medical and legal expenses and loss of earnings. "The Price Is Right" has been served with multiple sexual harassment lawsuits over the years. The show has not yet commented.
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