Simon Cowell being sued by 'Talent' contestant


LONDON -- Simon Cowell's name is in the dock as the world's favorite nasty judge finds himself being sued for £2.5 million ($3.8 million) by a former contestant on the U.K. version of his "Got Talent" show, according to British press reports.

Cowell and his show are being sued by contestant Emma Amelia Pearl Czikai, who appeared in an edition of "Britain's Got Talent" broadcast by ITV1 in May 2009. She claims she was humiliated and degraded on the show.

Czikai first lodged her complaint of unfairness and discrimination with the employment tribunal in January, first revealed by the Guardian newspaper.

The tribunal action emerged in the press following a pre-trial review at the central London tribunal court Wednesday (July 21).

Czikai, representing herself, accused the show and its judges of "exploitation, humiliation, degradation and barbarism."

She also claimed the show was guilty of disability discrimination because it had not made adjustments for her, such as lowering the level of backing music and microphone levels.

Czikai said: "This program makes a select number of rich people very, very rich on the backs of the ordinary man and woman in the street through exploitation, humiliation, degradation and a re-emergence of modern-day barbarism with all its inherent cruelty."

The one-time nurse reportedly told the tribunal she suffers from cervical spine neuritis, which can cause head and shoulder pain, which in turn caused her singing to suffer.

The pre-trial review, which will decide if a full hearing will go ahead, was told that she was seeking £300,000 for injured feelings, compensation of £1 million and loss of earnings of £1.25 million. She said if she was awarded any money, it would go to charity.

Czikai has previously lodged a complaint with the media regulator Ofcom that she was unfairly treated on the show. The complaint was rejected.
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