Tyra Banks, beloved host of America's Next Top Model, may have a bit of a seedy underside. Following extensive reports on her beauty franchise allegedly operating as an exploitative Ponzi scheme and exposés on her treatment of former contestants, some are questioning the fashion guru's ethics. Now, a suit coming from the mother of a contestant on America's Got Talent accuses the supermodel of "humiliating" her daughter and says the child was “physically manipulated and abused."
A woman referred to as Jane Doe is claiming that Banks interrupted Doe's performance of a song about motherhood with antagonistic questions. Banks went on to manhandle Doe's daughter Mary, according to the suit: “[A]n individual acting as an agent of Defendants, physically manipulated and verbally abused Mary. Banks shook Mary’s shoulder, pulled Mary’s hair back and physically manipulated Mary … Mary did not stop Banks’ conduct because Mary was fearful. Banks also insinuated that Mary was accidentally conceived, made fun of the performance and ridiculed [the song] in front of Mary, all in front of active cameras that were filming Mary. After the performance, Banks asked Mary to describe, in front of active and filming cameras, her opinion about Jane and her husband after they were publicly ridiculed by AGT. … As a result of her negative experience from AGT and Defendants’ abusive treatment, Mary was traumatized and became deeply depressed.”
Jane asked the show's producers to keep the footage of the interaction of the air to prevent Mary from being re-traumatized, but the suit says that AGT “maintained that they will exploit all footages of Jane and her husband and that they will not air those footages in their entirety.”
Deadline reports that the suit claims intentional and negligent infliction of emotional distress along with civil battery and civil assault.
[Photo: Getty Images]