Jeopardy host frontrunner Mike Richards says Price Is Right lawsuit doesn't 'reflect the reality of who I am'
Mike Richards, the reported frontrunner to take over as the permanent host of Jeopardy, has addressed the Price Is Right lawsuit involving him that resurfaced last week on social media and in the press.
According to a memo obtained by EW sent to the staff of Jeopardy, where he serves as executive producer, Richards said, "The way in which my comments and actions have been characterized in these complaints does not reflect the reality of who I am or how we worked together on The Price Is Right."
Richards worked as an executive producer on The Price Is Right and Let's Make a Deal before joining Jeopardy after executive producer Harry Friedman stepped down. He guest-hosted the game show back in February, and Variety has since named him as the prime contender in the search to fill the role of the late Alex Trebek.
EW has be unable to confirm the report, and Sony Television declined to comment on the matter at the time. However, Richards stated in the memo, "I was asked if I would consider hosting the show. I was humbled and deeply honored. No final decisions have been made and discussions with me and other potential hosts are still ongoing. I know I have mentioned this to you all before, but the choice on this is not my decision and never has been. Throughout this search, Sony's top priority has always been to continue the incredible legacy you and Alex built."
In the weeks since, Richards' past has resurfaced. In 2012, Price Is Right model Brandi Cochran won a discrimination lawsuit filed against the show. She alleged the producers at FremantleMedia North America and The Price Is Right Productions discriminated against her for being pregnant.
Richards was named in the suit, per The Hollywood Reporter, and apparently said, "Go figure, I fire five models. What are the odds one of the ones that I keep gets pregnant?"
"I want to address the complicated employment issues raised in the press during my time at The Price Is Right 10 years ago," Richards wrote in the memo sent this week. "These were allegations made in employment disputes against the show. I want you all to know that the way in which my comments and actions have been characterized in these complaints does not reflect the reality of who I am or how we worked together on The Price Is Right. I know firsthand how special it is to be a parent. It is the most important thing in the world to me. I would not say anything to disrespect anyone's pregnancy and have always supported my colleagues on their parenting journeys."
He continued, "I am very proud of my time on The Price Is Right and Let's Make a Deal. During my tenure, our female cast members welcomed seven beautiful children. We embraced and celebrated each pregnancy and birth both in front of and behind the camera. It was a joy to watch their families grow and highlight their happiness as part of the show."
Read the full memo below.
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