Playwright Matthew Lombardo and 'Looped' producers accuse the former 'Mary Tyler Moore Show' star of failing to notify them about her lung cancer to keep her job.
Valerie Harper is facing a $2 million lawsuit from playwright Matthew Lombardo and producers behind Broadway play "Looped". The 74-year-old actress is sued for failing to tell Lombardo and his production team that she had brain cancer before she signed on to star in his play.
Lombardo claims Harper and her husband Tony Cacciotti "knowingly withheld the truth" about her lung cancer until it spread to her brain in order to keep her job. The former star of "The Mary Tyler Moore Show" forgot her lines and slurred her speech during rehearsals, and was later forced to pull out of the production due to her health issues.
Lombardo demands $500,000 for the inconvenience since they had to find Harper's replacement on short notice, and additional $1.5 million because Harper misled them. The lawsuit was filed in response to a lawsuit filed by Harper, in which she claims Lombardo refused to pay her the rest of her salary as set forth in her contract.
Following her brain cancer diagnosis, Harper participated on "Dancing With the Stars" season 17. She recently denied that she's cancer free, telling Us Weekly, "In response to a recent erroneous quote concerning my health, I am not 'absolutely cancer-free,' I wish I were. Right now what I am is cautiously optimistic about my present condition and I have hope for the future."