The contestant, identified in the suit only as Jane Doe, performed a song with her husband at the taping on March 19. Banks even went so far as to shake the girl's shoulders and pull her hair back, say the documents being used in the ongoing lawsuit.
The complaint then accuses agents working for Banks and Marathon productions of instructing "Mary" to "act embarrassed and annoyed by her parents" performance" in front of an "active camera'.
Banks is also said to have ridiculed the song by insinuating that Mary was accidentally conceived, all while cameras were focused on the young girl's face.
The judges of the Superior Court of Los Angeles will decide whether they believe " the negligence causing emotional distress was intentional".
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Additionally, the 18-page suit alleges that Marathon Productions got Mary to sign a contract (which typically allows the show to portray you in whatever light the powers-that-be so please) without her parents' knowledge or consent.
Summary: A married couple is suing Tyra Banks and America's Got Talent for allegedly embarrassing their daughter during a taped performance. She claims that the song is about her close bond with Mary, who was present for the performance on set and "held a certain long-term emotional importance" to the song. Despite this heartwarming tale, Banks, the other judges and some of the audience members were less than enthused. They refused to completely edit Jane and her husband's performance, maintaining they will "exploit all footages" despite not airing it in its entirety. She says they sang a song about her relationship with Mary, which is Mary's favorite song of theirs. "As a result of her negative experience from "AGT" and Defendant's" abusive treatment, Mary was traumatized and became deeply depressed".
Reps for Banks and "America's Got Talent" did not immediately return requests for comment.
The parents asked producers not to use any footage of Mary or their audition.