Mike Richards’ status as front-runner in the race to replace longtime Jeopardy! host Alex Trebek after his death last year has seemingly hit a speed bump after lawsuits from his previous job at The Price Is Right reentered the public consciousness. There were two suits in particular that caught fans of the trivia game show’s attention, including one in which a model claimed she was discriminated against after getting pregnant. In that case, Richards was accused of making pointed comments about the woman’s pregnancy that could be considered offensive, or at the very least insensitive.
Mike Richards’ Past Legal Entanglements Catch Up With Him
After fans expressed their disappointment and shock after learning that Jeopardy! executive producer Mike Richards was in “advanced” negotiations to become the next permanent host of the long-running game show, a pair of lawsuits from Richards’ previous gig producing for The Price Is Right have sullied what should be an exciting time for the 46-year-old.
One lawsuit was filed in 2011 by former Price Is Right model Lanisha Cole who claimed she was wrongfully fired and subjected to harassment on the game show. Richards was originally listed as a plaintiff in Cole’s case but was dismissed from the suit two years later. The case was eventually settled out of court. More worrying was the lawsuit filed in 2010, which specifically named Richards with a laundry list of claims against him.
That suit was filed by another former model for the show, Brandi Cochran, who claimed Richards had fired her after she became pregnant and suffered through a difficult pregnancy. The case went to trial, where a jury awarded Cochran $8 million in damages. In 2014, however, that decision was overturned on an appeal, though both sides eventually reached a settlement. According to court filings, Richards was heard at a 2008 Christmas party saying of Cochran, “Go figure, I fire five models, what are the odds one of the ones that I keep gets pregnant.”
‘Jeopardy!’ Fans Will Definitely Weigh In
The discrimination case was reported on at the time, but is under new scrutiny now as Jeopardy! seemingly prepares to crown Mike Richards as its new permanent host. It’s far too soon to know yet if this new revelation will affect Richards’ chances at becoming host or whether audiences will be too upset by his previous legal battles. One thing is for sure: if the fans aren’t feeling him, they’ll have no qualms about letting him know.