‘The Young & The Restless’ (Y&R) spoilers find that Anthony “Tony” Morina is being sued by background actress Briana Thomas for alleged sexual harassment. Thomas is actually suing Sony Pictures Television and CBS Studios, the producers of long-running soap.
Thomas appeared as an extra in the soap with IMDb showing her credited as simply “Barista”. However, she has also appeared as a background extra in other scenes. Up until 2019, that is, when she was fired for allegedly rebuffing Morina’s sexual advances.
‘The Young & The Restless’ Spoilers: Tony Morina Sued for Sexual Harassment by Background Actress
Legal papers were filed on Thursday in the LA Superior Court and claim that during her time on The Young & The Restless set Morina commented on the actress’ body and made repeated, unwanted advances including offering private acting lessons.
The complaint further alleges that Morina would “leer at Thomas” while complimenting her appearance. The showrunner was also said to have asked her to remove a sarong so he could see her in a bikini in one poolside scene and told the background actress she could “really be something” on the show.
The 22-page filing claims Morina was touching Thomas’ waist while playing with her bikini strings as he told her, “It’s a tough industry to break into, unless you know someone who can help you. Let’s start with a private session and see if we can get you a little more comfortable.”
The claim continues to allege that, after refusing Morina’s advances, he became increasingly hostile toward Thomas, yelling and belittling her in front of others on set, telling her that he alone held her fate as an actress (at least on the soap) in his hands. Profanity and insults were also allegedly hurled at the extra.
Thomas claims she was “shocked, embarrassed, and distraught” after Morina’s tirade and, after finishing up on set that day, received an email stating that her employment on The Young & The Restless was terminated.
Thomas has hired Carney Shegerian as her main attorney as she seeks out damages for “unpaid wages, premium pay and statutory penalties”. Shegerian has faced off against TV producers in the past as pregnant Price is Right model, Brandi Cochran’s lead counsel in her harassment and unfair dismissal claim.