Valerie Harper Sued for $2M—Over Her Cancer

Playwright says she should have disclosed illness earlier
By Evann Gastaldo,  Newser Staff
Posted Apr 28, 2014 10:04 AM CDT
This May 16, 2012 file photo shows actress Valerie Harper at the Friars Club Roast of Betty White in New York.   (AP Photo/Charles Sykes, File)

(Newser) – It's bad enough that Valerie Harper has terminal brain cancer, but now a playwright wants the Rhoda actress to pay $2 million over the diagnosis. Matthew Lombardo says Harper failed to tell him her lung cancer came back in 2012, while she was working on his Broadway play Looped, TMZ reports. He and the producers who are also suing Harper say she started forgetting her lines and slurring her speech, and when the director suggested she see a doctor, she learned the lung cancer had spread to her brain.

The lawsuit alleges Harper tried to keep her original diagnosis a secret in order to hang onto her job, but that she ultimately had to leave the production, leaving Lombardo et al to find a quick replacement. He filed the suit in response to a lawsuit from Harper, who claims Lombardo didn't pay out the rest of her contract.

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