Trouble for Tyra? Mom Sues 'The Tyra Banks Show'

Georgia mom sues "The Tyra Banks Show" for portraying child as a "sex addict."

October 18, 2010, 6:20 AM

Oct. 18, 2010 — -- Tyra Banks could be in trouble: The mother of a self-proclaimed 15-year-old "sex addict" is suing the supermodel-turned-TV-mogul, claiming Banks included her daughter on her talk show without her mother's consent.

Beverly McClendon filed a $3 million lawsuit against Banks, Warner Bros. Entertainment and the executive producers of Banks' now-defunct daytime TV talk show in federal court in Atlanta last week. In documents obtained by Reuters, McClendon claims that in 2009, the show called her daughter on her cell phone after she'd responded to a request on the show's website seeking "sex addicts."

The lawsuit alleges that the girl was then picked up from her Georgia home in a limo, and flown to New York, where she was put up in a hotel, all without McClendon's knowledge.

McClendon filed a missing person's report with local police when she realized her daughter was gone. McClendon claims her daughter was paid for her appearance on the "Tyra Banks Show," and takes the show's producers to task for allegedly unlawfully employing her child.

McClendon says that to employ her child legally, producers needed to get written consent from the Commissioner of Labor in Georgia. She goes on to claim that producers had a legal duty to obtain parental consent to fly her to New York, put her up in a hotel room alone, and have her appear on TV.

McClendon doesn't only claim that her daughter was hired behind her back to appear on the show. In her lawsuit, she also alleges that her daughter's appearance on the show, where minors talk openly about their sexual activity, put her in danger.

"This show was undoubtedly watched by sexual deviants, perverts and pedophiles alike," McClendon says in the complaint.

She also claims her daughter has never been diagnosed as a sex addict.

McClendon is asking for an injunction against further distribution of her child's TV appearance, in addition to compensatory damages of $1 million and punitive damages of $2 million.

$3 Million Lawsuit Against Tyra Banks, Warner Bros. and Show Execs

Warner Bros. Television Group spokesman Scott Rowe told that the company "is not commenting at this time." Representatives for Banks did not immediately respond to's requests for comment.

In May, Banks pulled the plug on "The Tyra Banks Show" after five seasons on the air. During the final edition of the show, Banks mused about the guests that came through her studio.

"I want to thank the guests because, when people come on talk shows, don't you ever wonder 'Why the hell are they saying this? Why are they sharing their most innermost thoughts?' But, their willingness to share allows others to heal, because it makes us not feel alone," Banks said. "Like, 'Oh my God, they have that problem? Thank God, I know I'm not alone, I'm not the only one.' I thank them for sitting on this couch with me, thousands of guests, and sharing their stories."

Reuters and The Associated Press contributed reporting to this story.

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