Brandi Cochran, one of the most well-known models of the Drew Carey era of The Price is Right, has been awarded more than $8 million from a lawsuit that charged the show’s production company with firing her because she got pregnant.
According to her allegations, after her pregnancy set in, employees on the set would refer to her as “wide load.” She received her legally entitled maternity leave, but when that expired, she was told that her services were no longer needed.
The jury found that this was an unlawful termination, and awarded Cochran $7.7 million in punitive damages, on top of $777,000 in “actual” damages (money that she actually lost). “I’m shocked. I’m happy that justice was served today not only for women in the entertainment industry, but women in the workplace,” Cochran said.
This is not the first time that a Price is Right model has filed legal action. During the Bob Barker years, there were numerous complaints of sexual harassment and wrongful termination. That only happened well into the show’s run, though. Two of the original models were on the show for more than a decade before eventually getting canned.
Under Carey and the new management of FreemantleMedia, the model positions have seemed to be more temporary in nature, as they are constantly introducing new ones. That was one of the company’s points of defense in the case, along with the fact that other models have been pregnant and remained on the show.
The company’s official statement reads, “We believe the verdict in this case was the result of a flawed process in which the court, among other things, refused to allow the jury to hear and consider that 40 percent of our models have been pregnant.”
Via TV Guide