Valerie Harper, a star on Broadway who commands big ticket prices, is being sued by producer Matthew Lombardo for not divulging having brain cancer during negotiation processes before opening the play Looped.
Lombardo accuses Valerie Harper of “knowingly withholding the truth” regarding the severity of her condition. Harper was diagnosed with brain cancer in 2013, four years after being diagnosed with lung cancer. But, is it worth it for a producer, such as Matthew Lombardo, to go after a cancer patient for $2 million, as is the case with Valerie Harper?
While it is the responsibility of an actor or actress, such as Valerie Harper, to disclose any information which may prevent them from fulfilling the commitment of performing live on stage before accepting the acting job, the fact that the producer is going through with a lawsuit to recoup money potentially profited by having Harper perform in his play while she is fighting for her life is not the best publicity for Lombardo.
Is Matthew Lombardo bullying Valerie Harper? Perhaps not. It’s certainly his right to sue Harper for not disclosing, as she should have, her situation regarding cancer. However, as any cancer patient will tell you, conditions change daily. Valerie Harper may well have felt in good enough health to perform on Broadway during contract negotiations. Anyone with access to an internet search engine, as Lombardo’s team certainly did, could have researched Valerie Harper’s past battles with cancer with just a few keyword entries and pulled all the information they needed before attempting to court the star to perform in their play.
All signs point to the notion that Matthew Lombardo was using Valerie Harper’s cancer battle to his advantage. By Harper bringing her cancer publicity to his play would have definitely sold more tickets, making the play wildly successful. The hiring of Valerie Harper bit him in the butt, and now he wants to recoup his losses. It is a win win for a shrewd business man slash producer such as Matthew Lombardo.
Twitter twits are giving Lombardo a heavy dose of criticism over the lawsuit.
Valerie Harper is getting *sued* for not revealing to the Looped producers that she had cancer?! Gross!
— Kelly Hourihan (@MostlyKelly) April 28, 2014
THIS GREEDY PIG SUES A WOMAN TO HER GRAVE OVER “HOPE” -> Valerie Harper Sued For $2 Million Failing To Reveal Cancer. — Women’s Watch (@WatchWomens) April 28, 2014
I know it’s a countersuit but what was Matthew Lombardo thinking w his ‘you didn’t tell my you had cancer’ charge against Valerie Harper?
— Joe Meyers (@joesview) April 28, 2014
“@TMZLive: Valerie Harper sued by Broadway honcho. Whose side are YOU on? Why?” All the way on Valerie Harper side.
— Roxanna Norman (@rcnorman3) April 28, 2014
Is all the bad press worth it for someone like Matthew Lombardo to sue Valerie Harper for having cancer during his production? We don’t think so. While he’s just acting within his rights, legally. It’s just not a good look for someone to seek financial gain over someone else’s condition. Fans of Valerie Harper agree.