Jeopardy! government producer Mike Richards, at present the frontrunner for the position of the present’s host, responded to allegations of being pregnant discrimination Monday associated to a lawsuit from 10 years in the past. Richards — who could be filling the footwear of Alex Trebek, who died in November 2020 — was named in a pair of lawsuits by Price Is Right fashions again in 2010 (per Variety).
Ex-Price Is Right mannequin Brandi Cochran accused Richards of firing her after she turned pregnant, whereas Lanisha Cole additionally claimed she had been wrongfully terminated and harassed. Richards was dismissed from Cole’s go well with and the case was settled out of courtroom, whereas Cochran’s go well with in opposition to producer FremantleMedia, Richards, and others made its technique to trial, the place the jury awarded her $8 million in damages. The resolution was overturned in 2014 on attraction and an settlement was reached by each side. (A consultant for Cochran didn’t instantly reply to Rolling Stone‘s request for remark.)
Richards responded to each his doable new position and the lawsuit in a memo to indicate workers Monday. “These were allegations made in employment disputes against the show,” he wrote. “I want you all to know that the way in which my comments and actions have been characterized in these complaints does not reflect the reality of who I am or how we worked together on The Price Is Right. I know firsthand how special it is to be a parent. It is the most important thing in the world to me. I would not say anything to disrespect anyone’s pregnancy and have always supported my colleagues on their parenting journeys.”
Price Is Right host Drew Carey came out in support of Richards this previous weekend: “Every TPIR model since I started got pregnant and he built whole season arcs celebrating them. We even had Baby Shower shows for crying out loud. They weren’t even allowed to talk to me before Mike came on the show.”
“He took them from just bodies on the stage to actual people that audiences could get to know as part of the TPIR family,” he added. “He’s great. And I hope he gets to be the next Jeopardy host too.”