The Young and The Restless showrunner is accused of sexually harassing extra on show by offering her ‘private acting lessons’ while fondling her bikini bottom string
An actress has filed a lawsuit against the showrunner of the popular soap opera The Young and the Restless, claiming he sexually harassed her by playing with the strings of her bikini on set and offering her ‘private acting lessons.’
Briana Thomas, who played a barista in the show’s fictional Crimson Lights Coffeehouse, filed the lawsuit on Thursday in Los Angeles Superior Court against Anthony Morina, CBS Studios and Sony Pictures Television.
Thomas alleged that she was sexually harassed from 2018 until February 22, 2019 when she claims she was ‘illegally terminated’ because she refused Morina’s advances.
The actress claimed in the lawsuit that she was harassed from the moment she met Morina – who she said put his hands on her shoulders and stared at her breasts.
‘You’ve got a great look. You could really be something here,’ Morina allegedly told Thomas.
Briana Thomas, right. filed the lawsuit on Thursday in Los Angeles Superior Court against Anthony Morina, left, claiming he sexually harassed her by playing with the strings of her bikini on set and offering her ‘private acting lessons’
Thomas alleged that she was sexually harassed from 2018 until February 22, 2019 when she claims she was ‘illegally terminated’ because she refused Morina’s advances
He then allegedly leaned into her, putting his hands on her lower back while whispering that he could give her ‘a private acting lesson sometime.’
Thomas was required to wear a bikini during one scene set at a poolside bar, but was allowed to wear a mesh sarong over it at all times, the lawsuit reads.
Morina allegedly saw her walking to set with a rope over the swimsuit and pulled the robe open. While ‘leering’ at her body, he said: ‘So, you’re in a bikini today. Nice.’
He then allegedly tried to get a stage manager to get her to remove the sarong, but the stage manager allegedly told Morina that he wouldn’t make her do that.
Morina approached Thomas after the shoot and told her she ‘would’ve looked a hell of a lot better’ without the sarong before telling her she needed to ‘loosen up’ if she wanted a bigger part on the show.
‘It’s a tough industry to break into, unless you know someone who can help you,’ he allegedly told Thomas while playing with the string on her bikini bottoms.
‘Let’s start with a private session and see if we can get you a little more comfortable.’
Roughly a week later, Morina allegedly asked Thomas if she was flexible and if she could put her legs behind her head because he said he would want to see that some time, according to the lawsuit.
Thomas claimed that other women were also subject to inappropriate comments from Morina.
Morina allegedly said one black actress with short hair had ‘a hot body’ but that it was ‘too bad her head looked like a chia pet.’
Some women were allegedly subjected to comments that they needed breast implants – though Morina said Thomas didn’t need them because her breasts ‘looked pretty good.’
Thomas claims in the lawsuit that she rebuffed Morina numerous times but that he started to ‘retaliate’ when she started to take a firmer stance.
‘I’m the reason why you have a job. I am doing you a favor. I like you. Do you understand what I am saying?’ Morina allegedly yelled at Thomas in front of other staff and coworkers.
He and the producers of The Young and the Restless have yet to comment on the claims made in Morina’s suit.