The ousted host of NBC’s Talk Stoop is now suing her former network for discrimination.
Cat Greenleaf, 46, alleged in the lawsuit, filed Tuesday in Manhattan, that NBC and LX Networks fired her after she revealed that she has suffered from depression since she was a child.
Backed by powerful New York City lawyer Judd B. Grossman, Greenleaf is suing the NBCUniversal, LX, and her former supervisor for an alleged breach of contract, violating local codes on discrimination, and unspecified damages.
In 2009, Greenleaf created the show on the premise of interviewing high-profile stars like Jennifer Lopez and Kim Kardashian from the comforts of her Brooklyn stoop. That same year, the lawsuit states, her depression worsened as the show grew successful and her father-in-law passed away.
The host sought treatment and, “without sacrificing the quality of her work,” she continued the show.
Last October, however, the symptoms returned when Greenleaf’s friend died of cancer, according to the lawsuit. And in late November, she allegedly notified LX senior vice president Meredith McGinn of her relapse.
“I’ve been working to help my family and myself through a very painful process. Grief is real, but like anxiety, depression, and addiction, it’s easy to discount since it’s not tangible,” Greenleaf opened up in an email to McGinn. “The workplace is for work, not therapy, but in deference to our decade long partnership, I wanted to share the view from where I stand. I appreciate your time and consideration in listening.”
She added: “This has been a really rough month for all of us, and I’m sorry I didn’t just ask for some time off to handle Dave’s last days and the aftermath that followed. I didn’t know how severe this would all be and a lot of long dormant hard stuff seemed to join in."
That month, Greenleaf also texted a former producer stating that she will seek treatment. Greenleaf was clinically diagnosed with depression at 11 years old, according to court records, and has been diagnosed with obsessive compulsive disorder and prescribed the antidepressant Prozac.
“[I’m] in the throes of deep grieving [and] going to see a grief counselor tomorrow,” she wrote. “I’ve been crying and throwing up a lot, which is why I think it’s time for some pro help here,” she said, noting that she scheduled “an appointment with an MD this morning.”
Within days of that correspondence, however, the Talk Stoop host was ousted from her own show “without any warning,” the lawsuit claims.
McGinn told Greenleaf that she had breached her contract based on “the intimidation of co-workers,” “not effectively communicating,” and “insubordination," according to court documents. In a follow-up email, NBC also cited Greenleaf’s participation in the #MeToo campaigns as a breach of contract.
In 2016, Greenleaf signed a “guaranteed” three-year-contract with the networks. She claims she did not breach the contract.
But NBC spokesperson Amanda Collins directed The Daily Beast to a statement from LX TV Productions: “Cat's employment was terminated for legitimate, non-discriminatory reasons. The lawsuit is without merit.”
As Variety reported, MTV host Nessa Diab will replace Greenleaf as the show’s host starting Sunday, April 8.