Oh no: Did Tyra Banks verbally abuse an 'America's Got Talent' contestant?

25 May, 2017, 00:57 | Author: Roberto Lindsey
  • Tyra Banks America's Got Talent

In an 18-page lawsuit filed in Los Angeles Superior Court on Tuesday, an America's Got Talent auditionee is coming after Marathon production company claiming that her young daughter was "physically manipulated and verbally abused" by Tyra Banks!

While most contestants who go through the audition process on the show usually sign waivers acknowledging the possibility of public humiliation, the lawsuit argues that Mary, a minor, actually entered into a contract with the production company without her parents' permission.

Adding insult to injury, Jane Doe alleges that Banks made fun of the song in front of Mary, pulled Mary's hair, physically manipulated her, verbally abused her, and insinuated that she was conceived by accident. The result of this negative experience caused by [the issue] and the abusive treatment of the defendant, Mary left traumatized and deeply depressed. While she reportedly needed a special push from her mother as a newcomer to the show, Banks is excited to get started.

The suit aims for a jury trial and seems to have the ultimate goal of keeping the footage of their performance off the air.

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Banks "knowingly, willfully, and with malicious intent, initiated a harmful and offensive physical contact with Mary's person", the suit continues.

Their musical duo, in which "Jane" sings and writes the song and her husband plays guitar, elected to perform a song about motherhood that was written with "Mary" in mind in their first audition, which led to a call from producers ahead of their trip to Los Angeles. The producers agreed not to feature their daughter, but "maintained that they will exploit all footages of Jane and her husband and that they will not air those footages in their entirety". She says that she and her husband were "humiliated" by the judges and the audience, who criticized the song.

This isn't the first time Banks has been sued: in 2014, former "America's Next Top Model" contestant Angelea Preston filed a $4-million lawsuit against Banks and the show, claiming she was wrongfully disqualified after producers discovered she'd worked as an escort in the past.

Reps for both Marathon Productions and Banks did not respond to requests for comment.

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