Page Six reports that a woman, identified as Jane Doe, is suing the production company behind AGT claiming that her young daughter was traumatized when Banks “physically manipulated and verbally abused” the girl. The lengthy lawsuit claims that the adult plaintiff and her husband were “publicly humiliated” by the shows judges and some audience members during a March 19 performance.
The duo were performing a song they wrote about motherhood that celebrated the young girl’s birth and “bond among the members of her family.” The pair said in the lawsuit that the song is “especially favored” by the girl, who is identified as Mary Doe in the suit, among her parents’ works. However, host Banks, along with the judges and crowd, were not impressed by the performance.
The suit claims that Banks, “an individual acting as an agent of Defendants, physically manipulated and verbally abused Mary. Banks shook Mary’s shoulder, pulled Mary’s hair back and physically manipulated Mary. Mary did not stop Banks’ conduct because Mary was fearful. Banks also insinuated that Mary was accidentally conceived, made fun of the performance and ridiculed [the song] in front of Mary, all in front of active cameras that were filming Mary.”
It continued, “After the performance, Banks asked Mary to describe, in front of active and filming cameras, her opinion about Jane and her husband after they were publicly ridiculed by AGT. As a result of her negative experience from AGT and Defendants’ abusive treatment, Mary was traumatized and became deeply depressed.” AGT reportedly maintained that they “will exploit all footages of Jane and her husband and that they will not air those footages in their entirety,” after the parents asked them to not televise or publish any footage of their performance and the child’s reaction.
The parents are suing for intentional and negligent infliction of emotional distress along with civil battery and civil assault. Neither Tyra Banks or the show’s producers have commented on the case.