Tyra Banks Accused of Physically Manipulating a Girl During an ‘America’s Got Talent’ Audition

Tyra Banks
WASHINGTON - MAY 9: Tyra Banks arrives at the White House Correspondents Dinner on May 9, 2009 in Washington, DC. (Rena Schild / Shutterstock.com)

According to reports, a contestant on America’s Got Talent filed a lawsuit this week claiming that the show’s host Tyra Banks humiliated her daughter during a recent taping of the show.

The contestant, who is identified as Jane Doe in the lawsuit, performed a song with her husband at the taping on March 19th. The song is about her bond with her daughter, who is identified as Mary and who was present during the taping. She says that she and her husband were “humiliated” by the judges and the audience, who criticized the song.

Also, according to the lawsuit, Banks added to the humiliation by making fun of the song in front of Mary. The contestant claims that Banks pulled her daughter’s hair bank, physically manipulated her, and insinuated that the girl was conceived by accident.

Afterward, the lawsuit says Mary was traumatized and became deeply depressed.

“Mary would become extremely nervous and anxious whenever, among other triggering events, she hears any mentions of [the] song and [the] song itself, whenever she ruminates about the events during or related to the performance, and whenever she thinks about the prospective televised airing or use online of Jane and her husband, their performance, as well as the airing and use online of any footages of Mary.”

It is important to note that contestants sign waivers that they may be subjected to humiliation. But, the suit claims that the production got Mary to sign a contract without her parents’ knowledge or consent. After the contestant had complained, the company communicated that they would not include Mary in the broadcast. However, the couple asked that the entire performance not is aired. That request was denied.

The suit accuses Banks of battery and assault and seeks damages for infliction of emotional distress.