Last March, Erin Primmer, 35, had been a producer on The Montel Williams Show for two years. She was making $110K a year and was generally healthy until all of a sudden, on March 29, 2007, smack in the middle of Montel’s show on “Survivor Stories: Ripped From the Headlines,” she had a brain aneurysm, collapsed on the floor, and was rushed to the hospital. Fortunately for Erin, it wasn’t the kind of brain aneurysm that kills you — but it was the kind of brain aneurysm that kills your career.
According to the lawsuit she is filing against CBS, when Erin returned to work, she was told that her contract wouldn’t be renewed, that they needed someone physically “at the top of their game,” and “capable of handling the pressure” and that the next year was going to be “worse.” It was in fact worse: Montel’s show was canceled two weeks ago. And a good thing, too, because Erin’s lawyers are saying she was improperly dismissed, and their PR firm, Rubenstein and Associates, are out for blood. “For 17 years Montel Williams has portrayed himself as a man of conscience, as someone who understood his obligation as a TV star to fight for what is right and to protect those who were at risk to the callous actions of corporate America,” Primmer’s lawyer E. Christopher Murray said in a statement today. “However, in this instance Mr. Williams has not only shirked his responsibilities to a loyal employee he has in fact violated her workplace and civil rights.” Well, at least it appears audience favorite Sylvia Browne is in the clear.
Montel Staffer Sues [TMZ]