Lanisha Cole alleges producers Michael G. Richards and Adam Sandler -- not the actors -- created a hostile work environment starting in December 2009 after Richards stopped talking to Cole directly.
In the suit filed in the Los Angeles Superior Court, Cole claims Richards created personnel policies that were intended to deprive her of work, something the other models on the show were not forced to do. Cole's suit also says Sandler entered a female dressing room -- without permission -- while Cole was naked from the waist up and only wearing "a very sheer thong bikini underwear bottom" and berated her for failing to wear a microphone, something she says was not her fault.
"All the women in the dressing room, including Ms. Cole, were frozen in shock until Sandler finished his tirade and stormed out of the women's dressing room," the suit says.
According to the LA Times, the 'Price is Right' stage manager apologized to Cole, but did not report the incident. Months following the dressing room invasion, Cole said she had to miss a day of work for a family commitment and was told she would not work for that entire week. After she returned, she was told she was "holding the show hostage."
"This case is about senior-level men in the entertainment industry exploiting power and control over women by bullying and harassing female talent," Solomon Gresen, Cole's attorney, told the Los Angeles Times. "Ms. Cole did nothing to provoke Richards and Sandler. Once the harassment began, she was powerless to stop it."
'Price' host Drew Carey is not involved in the lawsuit.
Cole's lawsuit is just the latest in a long line of suits associated with the hit game show. In 1994, former model Dian Parkinson sued then-host Bob Barker for sexual harassment after a three-year affair they had while she worked on the show. Parkinson dropped her lawsuit, claiming stress damaged her health. Then in 1995, Holly Hallstrom filed a suit against Barker for wrongful termination and later settled in 2005. Barker filed a counter suit and later dropped it, but not before firing Sherrill Paris and Sharon Friem. The two production assistants each sued Barker for wrongful termination, sexual harassment and sex discrimination. Both women received financial settlements.