Payton & Associates, LLC
Commercial Litigation Attorneys
Miami, Florida

Top Model's Tyra Banks sued for breach of contract

A former contestant on the immensely popular reality show "America's Next Top Model" is reportedly suing the producers and show runners associated with her appearance on the program. The woman is suing Tyra Banks (known to Florida residents as one of the celebrity judges featured on the program), among other parties, for alleged breach of contract that involved her removal from the show. The case is currently being overseen in a court local to the production. 

According to the complainant, she advanced through the show's competition structure and was counted among the final three contestants. However, she was quickly dropped at the 11th hour based upon "information learned prior to the show" about elements of her life outside the program. The woman alleges that her former work as an escort may have been the information uncovered, and it was for this reason she was disqualified from the competition.

Interestingly, the woman had been selected as the winner of the competition before this sudden disqualification, and the show was actually re-shot with a new winner. The move lost the woman a lucrative modeling contract valued at over $100,000. She contends that her work as an escort did not violate the terms of her contract, but that Top Model's disqualification of her did. She is suing for $3 million in damages.

The ins and outs of contracts can be very complicated, especially when large sums of money are on the line, as any Florida contractor can attest. In this case, a breach of contract suit could lead to a large financial payout on the part of the show's owners and could also lead to additional scrutiny placed on them for unfairly discriminating against their contestants. Either way, it could be a landmark case in terms of suits of this type. 

Source:, "Former Americas Next Top Model Contestant Sues Tyra Banks For Breach Of Contract", Alexandria Tribble, Dec. 12, 2014

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