Following an extremely volatile season finale of Dance Moms, Abby is now facing another battle! Paige Hyland, who appeared on the show for 4 seasons, and left last season after her mother Kelly Hyland got in an altercation with Abby has now accused her former dance teacher of assault and filed a lawsuit against Abby Lee Miller!
In a suit filed on Tuesday in L.A. Superior Court, Paige attests that “Defendant Miller intentionally engaged in conduct that caused Plaintiff Paige Hyland to reasonably believe that she was about to be touched or harmed in an offensive manner.”
Paige’s complaint states that she “feared she would be physically injured because she had observed Miller physically batter other people on the show including physically pushing [Paige’s mother] Kelly Hyland’s face, pinching another student until she bled and violently grabbing another student by the arm.”
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The suit also contests unsafe working conditions, stating 60 hour weeks and 12 hour days were routine, and that Abby intentionally berated and insulted dancers for reality television drama.
Citing footage from the show, such as the time Abby threw a chair at Paige “terrifying” the then 11-year-old, Paige’s attorney believes this constitutes “abusive and bullying” conduct reports ETonline. Paige is seeking “economic and special damages according to proof at trial” of more than $25,000.”
“I’m not looking to make a lot of money off this,” Paige’s attorney Michael Shapiro told TMZ. “I think what Miller has done to the kids is intolerable and has got to stop. It’s the most repugnant case I’ve been involved in after 49 years of practice.”
Paige, along with her mother Kelly and sister Brooke Hyland, also have a suit against Abby and Dance Moms producers Collins Street Entertainment for defamation, emotional distress and breach-of-contract and they are seeking $5 million dollars.
That suit, filed in February, claims that Abby, and producers, provoked Kelly to pull Abby’s hair during a confrontation, inflicted “emotional distress” on Brooke and Paige, defamed Kelly in interviews, and attempted to force Kelly and her daughters into a breech of contract scenario. They also state that Lifetime did not financially compensate them for hours filmed and worked and violated child labor laws.
In August the parties met in front of judge Ruth Ann Kwan, who stated she did not necessarily believe Kelly’s claims qualified a defamation and emotional distress suit, but that she would permit contractual claims.
Attorneys for Collins Street Entertainment and Abby claimed Kelly’s accusations are attempting to “challenge Collins’ production activities and editorial decisions,” and the judge stated she would “likely side” with them over Kelly in that regard leaving “the plaintiff to demonstrate the probability of the claims succeeding before the lawsuit goes further.”
Defamation claims include Abby calling Kelly an “alcoholic” and an “unfit mother” in an interview, which the judge seemed to see as Abby expressing an “opinion” which constitutes free speech protected under a first amendment right.
As for emotional distress claims over Abby’s treatment of Brooke and Paige, the judge found that Kelly did not offer proof to substantiate this. Kelly’s attorney Michael Shapiro told The Hollywood Reporter the disclosure of the girls’ working conditions would show otherwise. “We just want to get this in front of a jury,” he said. “I don’t think you can tolerate treating children that way, I don’t care when it is or where it is.”
As for contractual claims, the judge was leaning towards Kelly side because as Kelly’s other attorney Marcus Jackson argued “the the contract was unconscionable because it ‘imposed upon [Hyland]” the condition that Collins could sue her, but not vice versa.'” Among Kelly’s claims were that she was threatened by producers that if she left the show, thus violating her contract, she would be sued for “everything she owned.”
I cannot wait to see what the witnesses Kelly and Paige provide have to say about all of this!
[Photo Credits: mylifetime.com]
TELL US – DOES PAIGE HAVE A CASE AGAINST ABBY? DOES DANCE MOMS GO TOO FAR?