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Arianne Zucker Sues “Days of Our Lives” Producers Over Alleged Sexual Harassment

The longtime soap opera replaced its co-executive producer Albert Alarr amid misconduct allegations in August 2023

Mark Davis/Getty Images Arianne Zucker
Mark Davis/Getty Images Arianne Zucker

Arianne Zucker has sued Day of Our Lives' production company Corday Productions and co-executive producers Ken Corday and Albert Alarr for alleged discrimination, harassment, and retaliation.

In a new lawsuit obtained by PEOPLE, the longtime soap opera star alleged that the television producer subjected her to "sexually harassing comments and nonconsensual physical touching of a sexual nature."

Per the complaint, Zucker claimed that Alarr would routinely pull her tight to his chest while making sexual moans and "forcefully" touch her during dry blocking of scenes without her consent.

"Alarr would put his hands on [Zucker'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 [Zucker] extremely uncomfortable and violated," the complaint states.

The complaint also alleged that the exec enjoyed filming aggressive sex scenes and threesomes. While directing Zucker in an intimate scene on DOOL, she claimed that he once said, “Believe me, I’d love to switch positions with you."

The five-time Emmy nominee claimed the producer would often give inappropriate direction like, “F--- him like you were younger!” as well as joke, "Good thing there is no HR here,” after touching her nonconsensually and making other crude comments on set, where there was no intimacy coach.

Additionally, Zucker's complaint states that Alarr and Corday frequently "berated" female employees in comparison to their male counterparts and they often "felt abused, and that the workplace was toxic."

Courtesy: Getty Images/Mike Moore Arianne Zucker
Courtesy: Getty Images/Mike Moore Arianne Zucker

Related: Albert Alarr Out as 'Days of Our Lives' Producer After Misconduct Allegations

In a statement to PEOPLE, Alarr's attorney Robert M. Barta denied Zucker's claims and said they plan to fight her allegations.

“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," Barta said, in part. "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.”

A spokesperson for Corday Productions did not answer the phone when contacted by PEOPLE.

According to the complaint, Zucker eventually took up matters with Corday, who is the head of Corday Productions, and shared her complaints in March 2023. She was then redirected to Sony's Human Resource Department along with other women who had spoken up about their own experiences.

Sony launched an investigation with 30 witnesses who also shared complaints or provided corroboration of Alarr's alleged actions. Shortly after, Zucker alleges that her pay was cut and travel budget was discontinued as a form of retaliation for coming forward during the investigation. In June, she was eventually written off the show and her future on Days of Our Lives became unknown.

When the investigation made headlines the following month, the complaint claims that Alarr was fired only after the news was made public to "save face" because Corday and his production company had been "ratifying and condoning his misconduct for 20 years."

<p>Vivien Killilea/Getty </p> Albert Alarr

Vivien Killilea/Getty

Albert Alarr

Related: Lisa Rinna Calls 'Days of Our Lives' Set 'Disgusting' After Misconduct Investigation Concludes

In October 2023, Zucker claimed her agent began contract negotiations on her behalf since her contract was set to expire in January. However, when her agent attempted to negotiate the company's initial offer, she was allegedly given a "take it or leave it" offer, despite appearing on the show for 25 years, per the complaint.

Zucker claimed Corday Productions failed to negotiate in "good faith" and dismissed her agent's repeated attempts to try again. When her contract finally expired, Zucker was fired from the show. She is now seeking unspecified damages and "continues to experience extreme emotional distress."

"Ms. Zucker did what we tell all women who experience harassment to do, and that is to report it. Ms. Zucker did just that and was the voice for other women who were too scared to come forward," Zucker's lawyer Anahita Sedaghatfar tells PEOPLE in a statement. "Rather than condone her bravery, Ms. Zucker alleges that Corday retaliated against her and because she spoke out she has lost a job she was devoted to for two decades. As part of this lawsuit we will seek to ensure that Corday provides sexual harassment training to its employees and hires an intimacy coordinator to be on set for sex scenes."

TMZ was first to report the news of Zucker's lawsuit.

Related: 'Days of Our Lives' Is Moving to Peacock After Nearly 6 Decades on NBC

In July, Deadline broke the news that Alarr was the subject of a nine-week investigation for alleged bullying, discrimination and sexual harassment. The longstanding soap opera then named Janet Drucker as Alarr's successor after he was fired due to misconduct allegations in August.

Following the conclusion of the investigation, Corday Productions issued a statement to Entertainment Weekly, which stated that they had "taken a series of actions designed to ensure a safe and respectful work environment."

In response to the news of his departure from the show, Alarr issued a statement to PEOPLE saying, in part: "It is hard to overstate how heartbreaking I find this situation."

"It is important to set the record straight. Every day, I worked with hundreds of people, the overwhelming majority of whom would disagree with recent mischaracterizations of me," he continued. "I have been in this industry for decades, and not a single complaint has ever been made against me until now."

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He also added that "many of the claims recently referenced in the media are simply false," and said that "others have been taken so out of context or are so twisted that they are unrecognizable from the truth."

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Read the original article on People.