Models that feature showcase prices have become one of the most beloved parts of The price is right over the years, but their popularity has not shielded them from the occasional scandal. In fact, there have been several over the many decades the game show has aired. Although none of these scandals have involved the current host Drew Careyserious allegations were made against his predecessor Bob Barker.
The ‘Price Is Right’ models who sued the show
For many young women (and now men), becoming a model on The price is right looked like a dream come true. Many of the models working on the show today grew up watching it and idolizing the beautiful models presenting the awards. Although the job may seem idyllic, there have been a few scandals in the past where The price is right the models spoke out and made allegations of abuse against a producer on the show, and one against former host Bob Barker.
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Dian Parkinson joined The price is right permanently in 1975 after appearing sporadically on the popular game show. She worked on the show for 18 years before suing then-host Barker, alleging he forced her to sleep with him and threatened to have her fired if she refused.
Bob Barker at the center of several allegations
Barker denied the allegations, saying the two dated from 1989 to 1991. Parkinson further claimed that she developed a bleeding ulcer as a result of stress caused by Barker’s alleged sexual demands preventing her from working. She eventually dropped the lawsuit due to the negative effect it was having on her health, although she continued to defend her claims.
Parkinson wasn’t the only member of Barker’s Beauties to continue the series. Holly Hallstrom began working as a model on the show in 1977 before eventually being kicked out in 1995. She sued the show for wrongful termination.
Holly Hallstrom’s wrongful dismissal lawsuit
Hallstrom claimed she was fired after the drugs she was taking caused her to gain weight. Barker, who was also named in the lawsuit alongside the show’s producers, denied the allegations and countered with a slander and libel suit. He insisted that Hallstrom was not fired because of her weight, but rather because of budget cuts. At the time, he said entertainment tonight, Going through The New York Times“If the company was going to fire her for a weight issue, Holly would have left years and years ago.”
He added that her dress size had fluctuated between 8 and 14 over the years, which apparently put a dent in Hallstrom’s claim that her premenopausal medications were the reason for the weight gain. Hallstrom ultimately won the lawsuit and was awarded millions in a settlement. Barker dropped his countersuit just days before the trial began.
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Brandi Cochran claims pregnancy discrimination
Another model, Brandi Cochran (née Sherwood), started working on the show in 2001 and had no complaints until 2007. She learned she was pregnant and kept it a secret at work because she was afraid of losing her job. The stress was intense and as a result, Cochran suffered a miscarriage. She claimed that when the producers found out, they said it was “nature’s way to get rid of a bad baby.”
A year later, in late 2008, Cochran got pregnant again and was determined to have a stress-free pregnancy this time around. She shared the news of the pregnancy with the show’s producers, who she says then began harassing her at work. Cochran claimed they would make hurtful comments like “A heavy load is coming” or “You’re taking on a lot of extra weight.” Her hours were reduced and she was forced to announce her pregnancy on air after she started showing. The producers were also reportedly angered by the news that Cochran was expecting twins.
In 2009, Cochran sadly lost one of her babies before giving birth to the second twin prematurely a month later. She took disability leave to recuperate. When she attempted to return to the workplace, however, the producers refused to schedule her.
As a result, Cochran sued CBS, the production company behind The price is right, and producers for discrimination. A jury initially awarded him $8.4 million, but that decision was later overturned by a judge. Cochran eventually settled out of court for an unspecified amount. There have been many other lawsuits over the years from older models. Hopefully, the current batch of models don’t have the same issues as their predecessors.