Jury gets 'Melrose Place' pregnancy lawsuit
December 16, 1997
Web posted at: 11:33 a.m. EST (1633 GMT)
LOS ANGELES (CNN) -- A jury is deciding whether actress
Hunter Tylo was discriminated against by the producers of the
hit TV soap drama "Melrose Place" for being pregnant.
Defense attorney William Waldo finished closing arguments
Monday on behalf of Aaron Spelling and Spelling
Entertainment, saying actress Tylo was a publicity seeker
and a liar.
"If Hunter Tylo, as a self-styled Christian and a self-styled
role model, gets the $2.5 million (in damages) she's asked
for coming into this courtroom and lying, God help us all,"
Tylo is suing Spelling Television and Spelling Entertainment
Group for pregnancy discrimination, breach of contract and
wrongful termination. She said she was fired from the show
days after telling producers she was pregnant.
Spelling attorneys said the company's contract with Tylo
allowed it to fire her for any "material change in
appearance." They maintain that as an expectant mother, Tylo
could not convincingly play a seductress or a "sexy vixen" --
words they say described the role she was hired to fill.
The attorneys did offer Tylo a settlement proposal before the
suit was filed, offering a new contract and a different role
on the show for the following season.
Tylo said the proposal was unacceptable because it would have
meant less money and a year without getting paid by Spelling,
and there was no guarantee "Melrose Place" would be picked up
the following season.
Tylo is asking the 10-woman, two-man jury to consider
awarding her up to $2.5 million in punitive damages.
The month-long case included testimony from "Melrose Place"
stars Heather Locklear and Lisa Rinna, who plays the role
originally intended for Tylo.
Both actresses testified that they became pregnant during the
same time they worked on the show and that the show's
producers allowed them to continue in their sexy roles.