The models who present showcase prizes have become one of the most beloved parts of The Price Is Right over the years, but their popularity hasn’t kept them free from the occasional scandal. In fact, there have been several over the many decades the game show has been on the air. While none of those scandals have involved current host Drew Carey, there were some serious allegations lodged against his predecessor Bob Barker.
‘Price Is Right’ Models Who Sued The Show
For many young women (and now men), becoming a model on The Price Is Right seemed like a dream come true. Many of the models who work on the show today grew up watching it and idolizing the beautiful models showcasing the prizes. While the job might seem idyllic, there have been a few scandals in the past where Price Is Right models spoke out and made allegations of mistreatment 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 on the popular game show sporadically. She worked on the show for 18 years before suing then-host Barker, alleging that he forced her to sleep with him and threatened to have her fired if she refused.
Bob Barker At Center Of Several Allegations
Barker denied the allegations, claiming that the two dated from 1989 to 1991. Parkinson further claimed that she developed a bleeding ulcer as a result of the stress caused by Barker’s alleged sexual demands which kept her from working. She eventually dropped the lawsuit because of the negative effect it had on her health, though she has continued to stand by her allegations.
Parkinson wasn’t the only member of Barker’s Beauties to sue the show. Holly Hallstrom began working as a model on the show in 1977 before ultimately being forced out in 1995. She filed a lawsuit against the show on allegations of wrongful termination.
Holly Hallstrom’s Wrongful Termination Suit
Hallstrom claimed that she was fired after medication she was taking caused her to gain weight. Barker, who was also named in the suit alongside producers for the show, denied the allegations and countered with a slander and libel suit. He insisted that Hallstrom wasn’t fired over her weight, but rather because of budget cutbacks. At the time, he told Entertainment Tonight, via The New York Times, “If the company were going to terminate her for a weight problem, Holly would have been gone years and years ago.”
He added that her dress size had fluctuated between 8 and 14 over the years, seemingly poking a hole in Hallstrom’s claim that her premenopausal medication was the reason for the weight gain. Hallstrom eventually won the lawsuit and was awarded millions in a settlement. Barker dropped his countersuit just a few days before the trial was due to begin.
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Brandi Cochran Claims Pregnancy Discrimination
Another model, Brandi Cochran (née Sherwood), began 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 she’d lose her job. The stress was intense and as a result, Cochran miscarried. She claimed that when producers learned of it, they said it was “nature’s way of getting 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 news of the prenancy with producers of the show, who she alleged then began to harass her at work. Cochran claimed they would make hurtful comments like, “Wide load coming through,” or, “You’re packing on a lot of extra weight.” Her hours were cut and she was forced to announce her pregnancy on air after she began showing. Producers were also reportedly angered by the news that Cochran was expecting twins.
In 2009, Cochran sadly lost one of her babies before prematurely giving birth to the second twin a month later. She went on disability leave to recover. When she tried to return to the workplace, however, producers refused to put her on the schedule.
As a result, Cochran sued CBS, the production company behind Price Is Right, and the producers for discrimination. A jury initially awarded her $8.4 million, but that ruling was later overturned by a judge. Cochran eventually settled out of court for an unspecified amount. There have been numerous other lawsuits over the years from former models. Hopefully the current batch of models don’t have the same problems as their predecessors.