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Jennifer Shepard-Brookman claimed she was fired in 2015 after having worked on The View since 2001.
Her complaint, filed Thursday in New York state court, states that O’Donnell resented long-standing moderator Whoopi Goldberg and wanted to unseat her from the moderator spot.
Shepard-Brookman claimed O’Donnell “accused Ms. Brookman of teaming with Ms. Goldberg to undermine Ms. O’Donnell.” For instance, Shepard-Brookman said O’Donnell thought she conspired to shift the coverage of the Islamic State group’s beheading of journalist James Foley from O’Donnell to Goldberg.
“At that time, Ms. O’Donnell intimidated Ms. Brookman by screaming that she ‘owned’ the story and was upset that Ms. Goldberg covered the story, and by grabbing the arms of the chair in which Ms. Brookman was sitting, leaning very close to her face and prohibiting her from leaving,” states the complaint.
In the year following O’Donnell’s return to The View, Shepard-Brookman said, “Numerous stories appeared in the media” about O’Donnell’s “acrimonious” relationship with the producers, other hosts and staff. (O’Donnell left the show in February citing personal reasons.)
The complaint states that O’Donnell “publicly accused Ms. Brookman of betraying professional and personal confidences and leaking certain sensitive information to the media” in a meeting in January with producers including View executive producer Bill Wolff (who himself left in August). O’Donnell continued to spread the false accusations after the meeting, said Shepard-Brookman.
“To be clear, Ms. Brookman denies that she ever leaked any such information about the show to the media,” states the complaint.
Her complaint only states one cause of action, slander per se, which she says “caused [her] to suffer intense emotional distress … destroyed her professional reputation and led to her termination of employment.” Shepard-Brookman seeks unspecified damages.
She’s represented by New York’s Brian Kennedy and Singer Deutsch.
“The allegations that have been made by Jennifer Brookman against Rosie O’Donnell are baseless, and Ms. O’Donnell will defend herself vigorously in court,” O’Donnell’s attorney, Nicolle Jacoby, tells The Hollywood Reporter.
“Page Six” first reported the lawsuit.
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