Even after his departure from a 35-year tenure hosting the Price is Right, cat-sterilization fanatic Bob Barker still finds himself party to yet another in a long string of harassment lawsuits from disgruntled female employees: nine in 13 years, to be exact, with all plaintiffs represented by the same guy—attorney and mutesmodels' rights advocate, Nick Alden. The latest complainant suggests she was demoted from P.A. to the far more demeaning rope-and-pulley-tugging duty after she testified against Barker in an earlier lawsuit:
[Deborah] Curling, whose job was initially screening contestants for the show, said she was in a "pleasant working environment" for many years. But after she testified in the wrongful termination suit of a former production assistant, she was moved from that job to one working backstage, she claims in her court filing.
That was an "intolerable" work environment in which black employees and black contestants were discriminated against, she said.
"Barker created an atmosphere of terror on the show, as a result of which any employee who complained about the working environment or contradicted Barker was fired," the lawsuit said.
Details of just how exactly Barker enforced a reign of "terror" over his tiny, cost-obsessed fiefdom inside CBS Television City remain sketchy; we suspect the game show host's generally beloved reputation will remain intact until Curling tearfully describes for the jury the time Barker heated his trademark skinny microphone with a butane torch until its bulb glowed an orange-hot, then held it within millimeters of the cheek of a Showcase Showdown set-dresser whom he suspected to be on Alden's witness list.