Couldn't happen to a nicer guy
Mess of hurt for Maury
Producer claims affair with star;
porn, booze rife on set of show
BY ADAM LISBERG
DAILY NEWS STAFF WRITER
A lawsuit teeming with tawdry details you definitely won't be seeing on the next "Maury" accuses talk-show host Maury Povich of cheating on his TV newswoman wife Connie Chung with an underling.
The bombshell legal filing claims Povich, 67, has been tangled in a "long time, intimate and sexual relationship" with 47-year-old producer Donna Ingber - and calls the talk show set a "Peyton Place" rife with porn and booze.
The alleged affair "was common knowledge to all," and Ingber was known as "Maury's girl," claims the $100 million suit, filed yesterday in Manhattan Supreme Court.
Bianca Nardi, a 28-year-old producer who has been with the show since 2000, slammed her bosses with the legal action - charging she was subject to humiliating and exploitative treatment behind the scenes.
The suit charges "Maury" was a classic hostile work environment "where hostility, intimidation, humiliation, ridicule, sexual harassment, as well as alcohol use, was explicit, rampant, pervasive and was condoned."
Povich is not accused of any harassing behavior himself - but the suit claims he, his production company and NBC should have known about the alleged problems and stopped them.
The most damaging details in the suit for Povich focus on his alleged affair with Ingber, a married mother of 12-year-old twins who supposedly made drunken late-night phone calls to Nardi about her sex life with the talk-show host and other men, the suit alleges.
The accusations threatened to tarnish the golden couple image of Povich and Chung, who wed in 1984, have a 10-year-old son and live in luxury in the Dakota apartment building on the upper West Side.
Reached at home, Chung, 59, declined comment yesterday.
Povich was taping shows yesterday at his Hotel Pennsylvania studios, including a segment with transsexual socialite Amanda Lepore. He ducked the Daily News' attempts to get his comments on the lawsuit.
Ingber's husband, Jeffrey, told The News that the allegations about his wife and Povich were lies.
"I think it's absurd," he said from their Philadelphia home. "He's been a gentleman. Absolutely not. Not even close."
A spokesman for the show ridiculed the harassment claims in Nardi's lawsuit - but refused to address the allegation that Povich was having an affair.
"We have done a complete and thorough investigation of her allegations of harassment and we are satisfied that there is no merit to them," the spokesman Gary Rosen said in a statement. "We stand behind our experienced and dedicated staff fully."
Nardi is a beautiful blond graduate of Syracuse University who had bit parts in some small independent films. She comes from a politically prominent family in New Hampshire, but was last in the news when her mother, Robin Miller, died of a rare flesh-eating bacteria in Connecticut in 2003.
Now living in Fort Lee, N.J., Nardi still works for the show but is taking medical leave, her lawyer said.
If you think Jerry Springer is the sleaziest show on TV, you'd be wrong. At least on Springer, the guests are adults and can keep some dignity. Maury, well, Maury runs a freak show with desperate women, deformed people, transgender beauty shows, video tape, and course, the most humiliating of them all, the baby daddy show. In this show, young women have the alleged fathers of their children take a DNA paternity test.
Maury: Tanisha, you say Davon is the father of Maury Jr.
Tanisha: That's right Maury, he look just like him. He got his nose, his eyebrows and his penis and it's small just like Davon.
Davon (behind the stage): Maury, that baby could be anybody, the milkman, the mailman, yours, because it sure ain't mine. The baby don't look nothing like me. Hell, it looks like you.
Then Davon will come out to a chorus of boos to a screaming woman
Tanisha: When are you going to be a man, when are you going to take care of your baby
Davon: He don't look nothing like me. He look like Maury.
Tanisha: You know I didn't sleep with no one else.
Maury will have them sit down. Then he will read the results:
Maury: Davon, you are NOT the baby's father.
Then Tanisha will make the run. She'll leap up and flee, embarassed and waddling, off stage and collapse in a pile of tears
Tanisha: Maury, the test has to be wrong. It has to be his baby
Maury: It isn't. He's out of your life. We'll help you find Maury Jr's father.if you want.
Tanisha: Yes, I do.
The problem is that they often have up to 10 men to test. As wild as Springer gets, everyone is more or less on equal terms. Not with Maury.
posted by Steve @ 11:07:00 AM