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'Wonder Years' Stars Accused of Sexual Harassment : Television: Fred Savage and Jason Hervey are named by former costume designer. Show's spokesmen deny charges.

March 18, 1993|GREG BRAXTON | TIMES STAFF WRITER

A former costume designer for ABC's "The Wonder Years" has filed a sexual harassment suit against the show's teen stars, Fred Savage and Jason Hervey, claiming they verbally and physically harassed her daily.

Monique Long, 31, also charged in her Los Angeles Superior Court lawsuit that her complaints to producers and adult actors about the alleged harassment were unheeded.

Spokespersons for the show and for Savage on Wednesday denied the accusations, which were filed a day earlier.

Long is seeking unspecified damages in the suit, which also names among its defendants executive producer Bob Brush, co-executive producer Michael Dinner, supervising producer Ken Topolsky, New World Entertainment Inc. and New World Television Directions Inc., which produces the series. Savage's parents are also named as defendants.

Long's attorney, Beverly Grant, said in an interview Wednesday that Long, who is now unemployed, was not seeking publicity by filing the suit. She said Long was let go last October because she had voiced concerns about the harassment.

"Our intention is to rectify a wrong," Grant said. "It's very difficult for anyone to make allegations of sexual harassment. We did not do this haphazardly or to be vindictive."

James Conroy, senior vice president and special counsel for the Andrews Group, the parent company for New World Entertainment, said the suit was groundless.

"New World regards the suit as completely baseless," Conroy said. "We deny each and every substantive charge. The company intends to vigorously defend its position in court, and we're completely confident that our position will be vindicated."

Howard L. Weitzman, a lawyer for Savage, said, "Her allegations are incredible, false and totally fabricated. This is a disgruntled employee who was terminated by New World. In Fred's opinion, this is the type of nuisance suit in which she's trying to publicly embarrass him and extract some money from him."

Long worked on the show as a wardrobe set costumer from August, 1991, through April, 1992, and from August through October, 1992, Grant said.

During most of that time, Long charged, she was repeatedly harassed by Savage, 16, who plays Kevin Arnold on the nostalgic comedy series set in the 1970s. She said Savage constantly held her hand, asked her to have an affair and made sexual remarks.

Long charged that Savage and Hervey also made "sexual and lewd" comments to other female employees on the show.

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