Actress Briana Thomas is suing Sony Pictures Television, CBS Studios, and the producers of the long-running soap opera, The Young and The Restless, for alleged sexual harassment.
Thomas claims that the executive producer for the CBS soap opera, Anthony “Tony” Morina, allegedly made comments about her body, made repeated advances, and offered “private acting lessons.” When she rejected his advances she was fired from the show, she claims.
The lawsuit comes after Thomas appeared on the show in a background role as a barista in 2018 and 2019. In official legal papers (opens in new tab) submitted on Thursday to LA Superior Court and obtained by Deadline, the complaints recount alleged “advances” Morina made towards Thomas. The showrunner reportedly told her she could “really be something” on the show, then allegedly asked her to remove a sarong so he could see her in a bikini during one poolside scene.
The comments and advances supposedly continued on during her time on the show. On another occasion, the suit claims that Morina also cornered Thomas in a stairwell asking if she lived alone and offering her “private lessons” again. Thomas allegedly rebuffed the offer, which the suit claims prompted Morina to retaliate.
“After spurning his advances for months, Morina began to retaliate against Plaintiff and at one point blew up at her in front of other staff and coworkers,” Deadline reported of the 22-page filing. “Morina began yelling at Plaintiff and saying she was ‘just an extra’ and there was ‘not going to be a part for [her] while cursing and verbally abusing Plaintiff and humiliating her in front of other staff.”
According to the legal statement, Thomas was “shocked, embarrassed, and distraught” after the encounter. Then, “after Plaintiff left work that day, she received an email stating that her employment was terminated and that she was no longer needed on the show,” the file states.
Rylee is a U.S. news writer who previously worked for woman&home and My Imperfect Life covering lifestyle, celebrity, and fashion news. Before joining woman&home and My Imperfect Life, Rylee studied journalism at Hofstra University where she explored her interests in world politics and magazine writing. From there, she dabbled in freelance writing covering fashion and beauty e-commerce for outlets such as the TODAY show, American Spa Magazine, First for Women, and Woman’s World.
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