Playwright Matthew Lombardo, along with several other Broadway producers, are suing Valerie Harper for not informing them that her cancer had returned.
According to documents obtained by TMZ, the lawsuit states that 74-year-old Harper failed to notify them, in 2012, when she found out that her cancer was no longer in remission. Harper was starring in Lombardo’s play Looped at the time.
The producers claim that Harper started slurring, and forgetting, her lines during rehearsal, and immediately knew something was wrong. In January 2013, after being urged to see the doctor by the director, Harper found out that the cancer had spread to her brain and was told that she only had three months to live. She later dropped out of the play.
Harper originally filed a claim stating that Lombardo did not plan on paying her the rest of her salary as the contract stated. In return, Lombardo and his co-plaintiffs filed a suit stating that Harper left them insufficient time to find a replacement, costing him $500,000. He is also seeing an additional $1.5 million for her negligence in telling him about the cancer diagnosis in a timely manner.
Although Harper is not cancer free, she says that she is optimistic about her current condition. “What all parties want to be made clear now is that while the Lepto has not spread, I am still not cured,” Harper told Closer magazine. “I am a cancer patient, and I continue to fight with the hope that a cure may be just around the corner.”
Harper became famous when she landed the role of Rhoda Morgenstern on The Mary Tyler Moore Show and then in its spin-off, Rhoda . After receiving her lung cancer diagnosis in 2009, Harper wrote her memoir titled I, Rhonda.
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