'Price Is Right' Model Brandi Cochran Fired For Pregnancy, Jury Hears

Brandi Cochran fired Price Is Right

Officially, it's illegal for employers to discriminate against pregnant workers, but in practice, pregnancy discrimination is common, according to the Employment Opportunity Commission statistics. Brandi Cochran, a model on "The Price Is Right" game show from 2002 to 2008, claims that she is part of this trend, saying that she was illegally fired and subjected to insults after she became pregnant.

One incident that Cochran (pictured above) recalled was when she walked past a "Price Is Right" producer, who proceeded to remark, "wide load coming through." The model's civil lawsuit finally went to trial in Los Angeles Superior Court on Tuesday. (The complaint does not specify the amount of damages Cochran is seeking.)

According to Cochran, her employer showed hostility to her pregnancy when she had an earlier pregnancy, from which she miscarried in 2007. A "Price Is Right "producer told her "it's nature's way of getting rid of a bad baby," according to TMZ.

When she got pregnant the following year, and miscarried, she went on disability leave for post-partum depression. After producers began dropping off in requesting appearances from her, they eventually told her she was being terminated, according to the Law360 website, which reports on business law.

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"The producers couldn't sell her pregnancy, they couldn't sell her disability, and she couldn't be exploited, so they fired her," her attorney James Urbanic said during opening arguments.

Cochran's suit was filed back in 2010 against CBS Corp., FremantleMedia Ltd., and The Price is Right Productions Inc. Superior Court Judge Kevin Brazile dropped CBS from the suit back in September, citing the television network's lack of involvement in staffing decisions for the show.

In presenting his client's case, Urbanic said that after Cochran announced her first pregnancy, the producers drastically reduced the model's appearances on "The Price Is Right."

FremantleMedia attorney Kate Gold, said Cochran's firing had nothing to do with her pregnancy. Gold said that when Bob Barker left as the game show's host in 2007, and Drew Carey became the new host, it began using fewer models and chose models that could adapt to Carey's "improvisational style."


Moreover, Gold said the show's producers didn't even know about Cochran's depression, and even if they had, the producers would not consider it a problem. After all, the show's new host had a widely cited public record of talking about his own depression and history of suicide attempts.

The suit, which is expected to wrap up in three or four weeks, is the latest in a line of lawsuits involving "The Price is Right" and its models. According to a report by Time magazine, the lawsuits that have gone for decades depict "an institutionalized attitude that allowed executives to treat models on the show (and female staffers) as second-class citizens."

Perhaps the most famous suit came from show model Dian Parkinson, who sued the "The Price Is Right" back in 1994 for $8 million, claiming that she had been forced to have sex with Barker to keep her job. Barker denied that, but he did eventually say that he and Parkinson had a consensual relationship. While the judge dismissed the wrongful termination part of the suit, it was Parkinson who decided not to pursue the sexual harassment charge, citing insufficient funds.

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One former model who had better luck was Holly Hallstrom, who was let go from "The Price Is Right" in 1995. Her termination led to a series of lawsuits and countersuits, in which she claimed she was dismissed for both gaining 14 pounds and not helping Barker to fight back against the charges being made by Parkinson. The parties eventually settled out of court, with Hallstrom walking away with a multimillion dollar award.

While Carey has not yet been ensnared in any of the suits, the string of litigation has continued into his reign as host. Just last year, former show model Lanisha Cole filed a lawsuit citing wrongful termination against "The Price Is Right." Cole says her treatment on the show changed dramatically in 2009 when one of the producers began to skip over her in favor of another model with whom he was having a relationship. The producer, named Adam Sandler (no relation to the comedian), also allegedly would burst into Cole's dressing room without knocking, castigating her for not wearing her microphone on set.

Cole's case, like Cochran's, is still in the courts.



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Dan Fastenberg

Dan Fastenberg

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Dan Fastenberg was most recently a reporter with TIME Magazine. Previously, he was a writer for the Thomson Reuters news service's Latin America desk. He was also a reporter and associate editor for the Buenos Aires Herald while living in South America.

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Suedad

CAN YOU FIND THE SHILL??.......$$$$$$$$

November 08 2012 at 1:57 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
Suedad

very difficult

November 08 2012 at 1:56 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
B N

Seriously now? I'm all for protecting people in their jobs, allowing them to do their duties will having outside lives (weddings, children, vacations, etc). But when your job is how your body looks... at what point is your employer allowed to cut bait? The first pregnancy? The second? The time off for depression? By my count, she had limited ability to work between 2007 and 2009 (inclusive). I mean... that's three years! She only worked there for 5 years prior.

At the point where your life outside the office is disrupting your work for a period of years, you'd better believe an employer is going to hire someone else. And at that point, when they have to decide to only keep one of you at the end of the day... which one would you pick? The one you've been working with for the last 2 years? Or the one who has been in and out for the last two years and is still playing catch up? I feel for her, having two miscarriages and depression is a horrible thing. With that said, her employer caused neither and I would say was quite generous to keep her on board for as long as they did. It's not like it's exactly hard to find someone who wants to be on TV, looks decent, and can point to a washing machine.

October 31 2012 at 1:53 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
talari

Fat Ladies should sue the show too!

October 31 2012 at 1:17 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
linzalind

i hope the bit*H and her attorney get hit by a bus on the way to court, bounce off it only to be thrown in front of a speeding mack truck headed the other direction ----- give more time for legitimate cases to be heard

October 30 2012 at 6:18 PM Report abuse -1 rate up rate down Reply
kimallman

I think Wayne Brady did it.

October 30 2012 at 3:24 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
arayamm

How was she disabled? I agree with ianmcdonald357 as well as Ray.

When you're a model you're chosen for your looks that is a part of your job description, when you get knocked up, your looks do change. You can't deny it. I certainly don't like seeing pregos everywhere much less on a model.

October 30 2012 at 1:58 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
1 reply to arayamm's comment
kimallman

Sounds like my former next door neighbor, she filed for disability citing narcolepsy as her problem. I could have told the judge that her problem was pills. And a black heart.. Yuk.

October 30 2012 at 3:21 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
puritianb

Wide load? mmmmmmmm If you're that big then the baby should have lived. I seen babies born as small as 1lb. and live. Maybe she should be suing doctor who treated her. Or maybe since she isn't working get pregnant now. If you can't get pregnant now then she has a problem and that's not the T.V. station fault. She should go to a pregnancy group not to court.

October 30 2012 at 1:00 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
str00ntz

Here's how you solve this problem: Fire every "model" and use interns from local colleges in the communication field, and models from modeling schools. They get one appearance each. You can also pick some from the studio audience.

October 30 2012 at 12:06 PM Report abuse +2 rate up rate down Reply
Bette McKinnon

"Wide load coming through"??????? That was a joke. Sensitivity and PC has gone too far.

October 30 2012 at 9:00 AM Report abuse +1 rate up rate down Reply

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