Former 'Days of Our Lives' boss denies Arianne Zucker's 'offensive' sexual harassment claims

“Days of Our Lives” star Arianne Zucker has sued former co-executive producer Albert Alarr, accusing him of sexual harassment on the set of the long-running daytime show.

The complaint, filed Wednesday in California Superior Court, alleges Alarr repeatedly subjected Zucker and other “Days” employees to “ severe and pervasive harassment and discrimination, including sexual harassment, based upon their female gender.” She also accused defendants Corday Productions, which oversees the series, and its owner Ken Corday of retaliation.

In a statement shared with The Times, Zucker’s attorney Anahita Sedaghatfar commended her client for coming forward about the alleged misconduct she and other female employees faced under Alarr.

“[Zucker] was the voice for other women who were too scared to come forward,” Sedaghatfar said. “Rather than condone her bravery, Ms. Zucker alleges that Corday retaliated against her and because she spoke out she has lost a job she was devoted to for two decades.”

Robert M. Barta, the attorney for Alarr, denied what he termed as “baseless” misconduct allegations against his client, which were the subject of an internal investigation last year. In a statement to The Times, Barta dismissed Zucker’s lawsuit as another attempt to shake down his client for personal gain.

“Having failed in those attempts, she is now — again — trying to exploit vile stereotypes to denigrate and demean a Black man who was in a position of power,” Barta said.

He added: “Well, enough is enough. Every day for decades, Albert worked with hundreds of people who can — and will — testify about the falsity of Ms. Zucker’s mischaracterizations of him. We relish having a chance to share the truth and putting an end to her offensive claims once and for all.”

A representative for Corday did not immediately respond to The Times’ request for comment.

At the center of Zucker’s lawsuit are several incidents where Alarr allegedly touched the Daytime Emmy nominee without her consent and made “sexually charged” comments during production. Zucker has starred as Nicole Walker on the soap opera since 1998. Alarr started on “Days of Our Lives” as an assistant producer in 2005 and was promoted to co-executive producer in 2015.

Zucker — who was the subject of former president Donald Trump’s lewd comments revealed in 2016 — alleged that Alarr would make inappropriate comments as she and co-stars worked on sex scenes for the show. Speaking to Zucker’s co-stars, Alarr allegedly said “you really just want to f— her” and “believe me, I’d love to switch positions with you.”

“Alarr made it very clear that he enjoyed aggressive sex scenes and threesome sex scenes,” the lawsuit said.

Zucker also alleged that Alarr would touch her without her consent, such as tightly hugging her “purposely pushing her breasts into his chest,” while moaning sexually. She accused him of putting his hands on her waist with “thumbs placed just above her vagina” as he “smirked and grinned in a sexual manner.” According to the complaint, Alarr had allegedly remarked about the lack of an HR presence on set “like a mantra” after his inappropriate comments.

The lawsuit says Zucker observed Alarr allegedly treating other female employees in a similar inappropriate manner. Alarr allegedly hugged them tight while “moaning sexually” and invited them to his office.

The lawsuit also aimed at Corday and his company for how it ran “Days of Our Lives.” The actor alleged in her lawsuit that the series did not have an intimacy coach on set for sex scenes, bosses discriminated against female employees and that the defendants did not provide “training or education of sexual harassment,” which is required by California law.

Zucker, like other female employees who spoke out, said she faced retaliation for complaining about her work environment and the harassment she allegedly faced. The actor said in March 2023 she raised her concerns to Corday, who referred her to Corday chief finance officer Mike Russell who allegedly then referred her to HR at Sony, which launched an investigation into her claims.

As Sony conducted its investigation, Zucker alleged that Corday took no action to protect her from Alarr and that she experienced retaliation for escalating her complaint. The lawsuit alleges that Zucker received a pay cut and that she was no longer granted a travel stipend. She said that in June 2023 her character was written off the series, after more than 20 years.

Zucker alleged that Corday and his company “refused” to share any conclusions of the investigations into her complaints. Before her contract was set to expire in January 2024, Zucker said Corday Productions offered in October 2023 to renew her contract but allegedly did not negotiate with the actor’s team for higher pay. She claims that was retaliation for her HR complaints.

After news of an investigation into Alarr’s alleged misconduct broke in July 2023. he departed “Days of Our Lives” in August . He was replaced by veteran “Days” producer Janet Drucker.

Zucker requested a trial by jury and is seeking an unspecified amount in damages including payment for legal fees, unpaid wages, and mental and emotional distress.

Source link

About The Author

Scroll to Top