Tyra Banks Accused of Verbally Abusing Contestant
Not so good news for Tyra Banks! According to a report, a woman referred to as Jane Doe is suing the production company behind “America’s Got Talent,” claiming that her young daughter was traumatized when host Tyra Banks “physically manipulated and verbally abused” the girl.
The suit was filed this week in Los Angeles Superior Court. The adult plaintiff and her husband says that they were “publicly humiliated” by the “AGT” judges and some audience members during a March 19 performance. The duo were performing a song they wrote about motherhood that celebrated the young girl’s birth and “bond among the members of her family.” It says the song is “especially favored” by the girl — ID’d as Mary Doe in the filing — among her parents’ works.
But apparently Banks, the judges and some in the crowd were unmoved. The suit claims that during the performance, Banks, “an individual acting as an agent of Defendants, physically manipulated and verbally abused Mary. Banks shook Mary’s shoulder, pulled Mary’s hair back and physically manipulated Mary. … Mary did not stop Banks’ conduct because Mary was fearful. Banks also insinuated that Mary was accidentally conceived, made fun of the performance and ridiculed [the song] in front of Mary, all in front of active cameras that were filming Mary. After the performance, Banks asked Mary to describe, in front of active and filming cameras, her opinion about Jane and her husband after they were publicly ridiculed by ‘AGT.’ … As a result of her negative experience from ‘AGT’ and Defendants’ abusive treatment, Mary was traumatized and became deeply depressed.”
The suit adds that, a few weeks later, the plaintiffs asked that ‘AGT’ not televise or publish any footage of their performance and the child’s reaction. It claims that Marathon execs agreed not to feature Mary as part of the program and “acknowledged Mary’s emotional distress.” But the plaintiffs also wanted the song’s performance kept off the air, for fear of causing “further emotional distress.” The lawsuit says AGT “maintained that they will exploit all footages of Jane and her husband and that they will not air those footages in their entirety.”
The suit claims intentional and negligent infliction of emotional distress along with civil battery and civil assault.