Broadway Producer Sues Valerie Harper For Inconveniencing Him With Her Pesky Brain Cancer
You know that here at Happy we are on Team Valerie Harper for life, so you won’t be surprised to learn that we’re mad as fuck that Harper is being sued by the producers of the Broadway play she was starring in because she had the goddamn gall to get brain cancer during its run.
Harper has been hit with a $2 million lawsuit by Broadway bigshot Matthew Lombardo, who charges she didn’t tell him she had cancer until after she signed on to star in his play.
Lombardo charges Harper and her husband, Tony Cacciotti, hid her bout with lung cancer until it spread to her brain, forcing her to bail out of last year’s national tour of “Looped.”
Before we yell about this some more, let us tell you that in “Looped” Harper was playing star of stage and screen Tallulah Bankhead and holy crap does she look great in the role and we are sorry we can’t see it but we understand that you have to stop working sometimes WHEN YOU ARE BEING TREATED FOR BRAIN CANCER.
Lombardo’s suit comes in response to Harper’s suit, which alleged that Lombardo failed to pay her the remainder of her contract because of her illness. When the lung cancer spread to her brain, she began slurring her words and forgetting her lines, which is a thing that sometimes probably happens when you have brain cancer! Lombardo seems to see this as some sort of evil long-term plan on Harper’s part: (1) get lung cancer in 2009; (2) fail to disclose lung cancer to every single fucking person in the world including Lombardo; (3) get brain cancer; (4) quit play; (5) PROFIT!
Look. Unless Harper’s contract had some sort of clause that required her to disclose any and all medical conditions (which maybe it did. who knows?) before signing on to do the play, this is some serious bullshit. And let’s be honest, even if there was some sort of clause, would you really want to be Lombardo right now, the dude that refused to pay the actress WITH BRAIN CANCER and then turned around and sued the actress WITH BRAIN CANCER for some additional coin after she asked to be paid? Is this a good look? Her original diagnosis, mid-play, gave her months to live. She did not die, obvs, and continues to fight the cancer while doing some projects like “Dancing With The Stars” that are arguably much less grueling than a touring play production.
Meanwhile, Stefanie Powers replaced Harper in “Looped” (“Hart to Hart” represent!) but apparently calling up Powers and getting her to take the role cost Lombardo $500,000 in effort and $1.5 million in damages. Is it really that hard to get Stefanie Powers in your play??
Seriously, Lombardo, just settle this thing, because you do not want to be the dude that sued the famous beloved Rhoda lady with brain cancer, even if you win the suit. Trust us on this one.