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HomeBollywood'Vanderpump Rules' Star Faith Stowers Sues Bravo & Producers

‘Vanderpump Rules’ Star Faith Stowers Sues Bravo & Producers

Detailing an environment of “racial slurs,” “sexual harassment and physical violence,” and retaliation, Vanderpump RulesFaith Stowers wants “her day in court” against NBCUniversal, Bravo and the reality TV series’ producers.

Seeking unspecified damages, Stowers’ legal action is being helmed by attorneys Bryan Freedman and Mark Geragos. The litigating heavyweights have made spotlight the underbelly of the unscripted world and pummeling the networks and producers behind it a cottage industry of late. Dense detailed, timely (Stowers is launching a new podcast series), and shedding light on Stowers allegedly being “violently assaulted” with a knife by castmate Lala Kent, today’s lawsuit is very much more of the same.

Revealing that former waitress Stowers was paid a paltry $5000 for her participation in the fourth season of VR starting in 2015 and virtually nothing afterwards, the eight-claim filing in LA Superior Court also describes how racial mistreatment and other apparent misconduct became the M/O of the show — and how NBCU and producers Evolution did allegedly nothing.

Very quickly, however, Stowers realized that she was getting more than she bargained for. As detailed below, Stowers was subjected to racism, sexual harassment, and physical assault in just her first season. When she reported her mistreatment to NBC and Evolution, the network and production company, respectively, she was warned in no uncertain terms to keep quiet and play nice. Driven by concern for her career and fear about how she might otherwise be portrayed on air, Stowers reluctantly did so, only to discover that she had been nominally demoted to an unpaid ‘volunteer’ without any actual change in her employment status.

Over time, her treatment got even worse. Many cast members embarked on an overtly racist social media harassment campaign, accusing her of having gone AWOL from the military (false), of being a thief (false), and of being a career criminal wanted by the LAPD (false). NBC and Evolution, which tightly control the cast’s public statements and messaging, condoned, ratified, and amplified these vicious lies, causing untold harm to Stowers’s mental health and reputation. To make matters worse, NBC threatened her with ruinous legal action when she attempted to speak out.

Bravo and NBCU representatives did not respond to Deadline’s request for comment today on this latest unscripted suit from Freedman and Geragos’ firms.

As expected, Bryan Freedman had something to say outside of the filing.

“NBC and Evolution clearly believe that workplace safety rules, employment laws, and basic decency do not apply to those in reality TV,” the lawyer told Deadline this morning.

“Vicious assaults, racist harassment, and impugning the service of veterans are apparently acceptable to NBC and Evolution for the sake of ratings,” Freedman added. “Faith did not know what kind of cesspool she had found herself in and reported this unlawful behavior to her superiors. In response, she was demoted to ‘volunteer’ and stripped of her already meager compensation.”

Like a number of previous NDA challenging and so-called “Reality Reckoning” suits, Freedman and Geragos have put in the LASC docket in recent months for current and past reality TV stars, Stowers’ action takes aim at the restrictions NBCU and other allegedly imposed on her and her freedom of speech:

Stowers has never attained any justice for her gross mistreatment. For years, Stowers refrained from taking legal action against NBC and Evolution because she was misled by the terms of her contracts into believing that she had waived her right to do so and released the responsible parties from liability. What she did not realize (and was not meant to realize) is that NBC and Evolution have been engaged in a systemic deception of their cast and crew intended to trick them into letting their claims lapse. Specifically, they impose illegal and unenforceable contractual terms on unsuspecting employees that purport to pre-emptively divest them of the right to pursue legal action for anything that takes place on set, gag them from speaking out about unlawful conduct they witness or experience, and threaten ruinous penalties for even minor breaches of confidentiality. None of these provisions are legal or enforceable under California law. Still, their inclusion has the effect of misleading untold numbers of employees, including Stowers, into believing they are without recourse. As a result of this intentional deception by NBC and Evolution, which was expressly designed to trick Stowers into unwittingly letting her claims lapse, Stowers has never had her day in court.

Obviously, that’s changed now.

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