UPDATED with statement from Alarr’s attorney: Veteran soap actress Arianne Zucker, who starred as Nicole Walker on Peacock’s Days of Our Lives until her contract expired in January, has slapped Ken Corday, Corday Prods. and former director/executive producer Albert Alarr with a lawsuit alleging sexual harassment.
Zucker is pointing fingers at Alarr, who lost his job in August after Deadline revealed the DoOL veteran had been the subject of an investigation into allegations that included inappropriate comments and touching, including groping and forceful kissing, as well as creating a toxic environment on the show and governing by fear. See lawsuit here.
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In her lawsuit, Zucker alleges she was victim of nonconsensual sexual touching and inappropriate comments by Alarr, like telling her costars during sex scenes that he would “love to switch positions” with them. He also would state that he enjoyed aggressive sex scenes.
“Alarr would frequently grab and tightly hug Plaintiff, purposely pushing her breasts onto his chest, while moaning ‘Oh Ari!’ Alarr’s unwelcome physical touching made Plaintiff feel offended, uncomfortable, humiliated and intimidated. Indeed, on many occasions, Alarr forcefully touched Plaintiff without her consent during dry blocking of scenes. Alarr would put his hands on Plaintiff’s waist, with his thumbs placed just above her vagina, and move her around, all the while smirking and grinning in a sexual manner, making Plaintiff extremely uncomfortable and violated.”
In response, a spokesperson for Corday Prods. released this statement: “The allegations in Ms. Zucker’s lawsuit are without merit. Corday Productions offered to renew Ms. Zucker’s contract including offering her a pay increase. Rejecting Ms. Zucker’s counteroffer does not constitute retaliation. Complaints about Mr. Alarr’s on-set behavior were promptly investigated. Corday Productions fully cooperated with the impartial investigation and subsequently terminated Mr. Alarr.”
Added Robert M. Barta, attorney for Alarr: “As Albert said when Ms. Zucker first leveled these outrageous claims through the press last year, her baseless allegations were examined in a detailed and entirely independent investigation that lasted for two months. Dozens of individuals cooperated and every claim was thoroughly looked into. At the end of that process, the decision was made that Albert should continue in his role as Co-Executive Producer of Days of Our Lives. As Ms. Zucker’s own lawsuit all but admits, at a time of industry-wide cutbacks, she was aggressively seeking a significant personal pay increase and additional influence on the show. Having failed in those attempts, she is now – again – trying to exploit vile stereotypes to denigrate and demean a Black man who was in a position of power. Well, enough is enough. Every day for decades, Albert worked with hundreds of people who can – and will – testify about the falsity of Ms. Zucker’s mischaracterizations of him. We relish having a chance to share the truth and putting an end to her offensive claims once and for all.”
The suit goes on to say that “from the onset of Alarr’s employment, he repeatedly subjected Plaintiff and other employees to severe and pervasive harassment and discrimination, including sexual harassment, based upon their female gender. That Alarr engaged in this illegal behavior was well known to Defendants Corday and Ken Corday and to the HR department of Sony Pictures Television (the distributor of Days of Our Lives for years. Indeed, Alarr has been accused by numerous individuals of making sexually charged inappropriate and gender hostile remarks, and of bullying and intimidating female employees. Alarr has been accused of groping female members of the cast, and in at least one instance, forcibly kissing an actress against her will. Many prominent actresses that worked under Alarr have spoken publicly about Alarr’s misconduct dating back for years, and how their complaints to Defendants Corday and Ken Corday fell upon deaf ears.”
Zucker claims in her suit that she met with Sony and Human Resources between March and June of 2023 while Alarr continued on the show. Zucker’s contract on the sudser expired in October after Corday gave her a “take it or leave it” offer.
Zucker, who first joined the soap in 1998, is suing for harassment, discrimination, retaliation and wrongful termination, among other claims, and is seeking unspecified damages.
Before Alarr was axed, more than 25 DoOL cast members signed a petition calling for the director to be replaced with a female after the nine-week investigation didn’t result in a meaningful change. He was able to continue his role on the show while receiving a written warning and was only axed after his behavior went public.
DoOL alums Farah Galfond and Lisa Rinna both supported the cast’s request for Alarr to be removed.