Producer sues Maury Povich for harassment

By Samuel Maull The Associated Press

NEW YORK – A producer for TV talk-show host Maury Povich filed a $100 million sex harassment lawsuit against him and other members of his staff yesterday, claiming they barraged her with sexual remarks and made her watch porno movies and expose her body.

Bianca Nardi, 28, of Fort Lee, N.J., says in court papers that the sexually charged atmosphere among the show’s production staff was fostered by the “intimate and sexual relationship between defendants Maurice Richard Povich and Donna Benner Ingber.”

Court papers also say Nardi had an unfairly heavy workload because she did tasks that were supposed to be done by Ingber, who often refused to do her own work – without penalty – because of her relationship with Povich.

Povich is married to the veteran television news anchor Connie Chung.

Gary Rosen, spokesman for the show, flatly denied the allegations, as did a spokeswoman for NBC Universal.

“We are aware of the allegations of harassment made by Ms. Nardi. We have done a complete and thorough investigation of her allegations of harassment and we are satisfied that there is no merit to them,” Rosen said. “We stand behind our experienced and dedicated staff, fully.”

“We do not believe that Ms. Nardi was a victim of unlawful sexual harassment and intend to defend this lawsuit vigorously,” NBC spokeswoman Rebecca Marks said.

The suit contains a list of sordid allegations.

Ingber, who is also named as a defendant, “many times in an intoxicated condition, telephoned [Nardi’s] residence at all hours of the late evening to discuss her personal relations with defendant Povich,” and to ask Nardi what staffers were saying about the relationship, court papers say.

Through the nearly six years of her employment, Nardi’s court papers say, Paul Faulhaber, executive producer of “The Maury Povich Show,” ordered her to wear short skirts, low-cut blouses and push-up bras. Faulhaber is also a defendant in the suit.