More than six months after she was let go from daytime talker The View, former show producer Jennifer Shepard-Brookman has taken Rosie O’Donnell to court. In a jury-seeking complaint filed this week in New York, The View’s once veteran and Emmy-winning senior producer alleges that the former co-host cost her a job of 14 years by blaming her for leaks in the press about backstage tensions at the show.
Seeking unspecified compensatory damages, Brookman also claims that during a meeting in September last year O’Donnell “intimidated” her by “screaming” over a story that was being assigned to fellow co-host Whoopi Goldberg and not her. According to Brookman, O’Donnell “accused Ms. Brookman of teaming with Ms. Goldberg to undermine Ms. O’Donnell.”
“Ms. Brookman brings this claim to hold Ms. O’Donnell accountable for her malicious conduct in making false and defamatory statements of fact about Ms. Brookman to others in their workplace, which caused Ms. Brookman to suffer intense emotional distress, anxiety, and lack of sleep, destroyed her professional reputation, and led to her termination of employment,” said the ex-producer’s lawyer Brian Kennedy in the complaint (read it here), filed Thursday.
O’Donnell’s attorney Nicolle Jacoby has called the claims “baseless.” ABC had no response to requests for comment. Last month, Brookman, who was the last remaining producer of the original crew, tweeted out that she was looking for work:
If anybody is looking to hire a fantastic, incredibly hard working senior level producer, pls tweet me. Thx all
— Jennifer Brookman (@jenshep26) September 28, 2015
Having been on the show from 2006-2007 as the moderator or first among equals of co-hosts who weren’t Barbara Walters, O’Donnell rejoined the now-Walterless and struggling The View in September of last year. While at first her presence seemed to help push the show back up in the ratings, things soon started to fall again and the rumor mill went into maximum overdrive. In February of this year, just after the co-EP had left too, it was officially announced O’Donnell would be exiting the show, which she did later that month – around the same time Brookman was let go.
“To be clear, Ms. Brookman denies that she ever leaked any such information about the Show to the media, and unequivocally states that the accusations that she leaked any such information about the Show to the media is false,” notes the complaint from this week.
Let’s see what Rosie says in response to that — in court.