A former show model on “The Price is Right” has sued the show’s producers for sexual harassment.
The model – 29 year-old Lanisha Cole – was seen on the game show adorning its stage and “presenting” its bountiful prize packages with smiles and elaborate hand gestures from 2003 to 2010, when she quit after, she alleges, meetings with human resources personnel did not adequately address her complaints that she was being sexually harassed by producers.
Such lawsuits brought by various former models on “Price” – a group once known informally as “Barker’s Beauties” after former host Bob Barker – did crop up occasionally during Barker’s epic 35-season run as the long-running show’s uber-host. However, we want to emphasize right here that neither Barker – who was still the star of the show when Cole joined it in 2003 – and current host Drew Carey (pictured with Cole in 2010 in our picture, above right) are mentioned in Cole’s lawsuit.
Instead, the defendants in the suit filed this past week in Los Angeles are producers Adam Sandler and Michael G. Richards (though they have the same names as the comic star of movies such as “Happy Gilmore” – which coincidentally, famously featured an appearance by Barker – and the actor who played Kramer on “Seinfeld,” they’re not them) and the production company, FremantleMedia North America.
The suit contains seven complaints, according to a detailed story here on ABCNews.com: including “false imprisonment” (based on an incident in which Cole alleges that producer Sandler “berated” her in her dressing room while she was clad only in her underwear, which prevented her from feeling free to flee the room), “sexual harassment” and “intentional infliction of emotional distress.”
Cole’s attorney, Solomon Gresen, who’s quoted in the ABC News story, emphasizes that Cole “loved” Carey and the other spokesmodels. Gresen, not surprisingly, thinks Cole has a good case. “Time and again,” he said, “I see cases of women who are mistreated by men in positions of power. . . . It happens all the time.”
“The Price is Right” airs weekdays at 11 a.m./10c on CBS.