The Young and the Restless Showrunner Accused of Sexually Harassing Actress in New Lawsuit

“Young and the Restless” showrunner Anthony “Tony” Morina has been accused of sexual harassment by actress Briana Thomas, who has now filed a lawsuit against Morina, CBS Studios and Sony Pictures Television.

via: People

In a complaint obtained by PEOPLE, Thomas accuses Morina of making “inappropriate sexual comments and advances” towards her from 2018 to 2019, when she played a barista in the show’s fictitious Crimson Lights Coffeehouse.

Thomas claims that the harassment began when she first met Morina, who she alleges had placed his hand on her lower back and stared at her breasts when he introduced himself. During their initial meeting, Morina allegedly told Thomas that she’s “got a great look” and that he could give her “a private acting lesson sometime.”

In another instance, in which Thomas’ character was required to wear a bikini on-screen, she alleges that Morina pulled opened her dressing robe and leered at her body prior to filming.

“It’s a tough industry to break into, unless you know someone who can help you,” he allegedly told Thomas after her scene, while playing with the string on her bikini bottoms. “Let’s start with a private session and see if we can get you a little more comfortable.”

Thomas also alleges in the lawsuit that Morina once commented about her breasts, saying that they “looked pretty good” and didn’t need implants.

According to the complaint, Morina’s advances often came with the promise of helping Thomas propel her career if she obliged, though the actress says that she rebuffed him many times.

The lawsuit claims that Morina “began to retaliate” against Thomas after she took a firmer stance in rejecting him and “at one point blew up at her in front of other staff and coworkers.”

“I’m the reason why you have a job. I am doing you a favor. I like you. Do you understand what I am saying?” he allegedly told Thomas during the tirade.

The complaint states that Thomas was terminated from The Young and the Restless after the alleged blow-up, though she continued to be “subjected to harassment and retaliation from the Defendants in the form of stalking and intimidation.”

Thomas is seeking a variety of damages in her lawsuit, including “unpaid wages, premium pay and statutory penalties” and fees. The actress says she was initially hired for a background role but was told that she should be paid a principal character wage after her part became more prominent on the show.

The lawsuit says that Thomas appeared on the series more than 150 times between February 2018 and January 2019.

A spokesperson for CBS Studios and Morina did not immediately respond to PEOPLE’s request for comment. Sony Pictures Television had no comment when reached by PEOPLE.

Black people love the Young and the Restless, it’s terrible what allegedly happened on set.

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