Who is Mike Richards' wife? 'Jeopardy!' host frontrunner was sued for sexual harassment
'Jeopardy!' executive producer Mike Richards is facing pushback after being considered as the new host of the show over past harassment and discrimination allegations against him.
Richards, 46, has served as the show's executive producer since 2020 and was one of its rotating cast of guest hosts following the death of legendary 'Jeopardy!' king Alex Trebek, who succumbed to pancreatic cancer last November aged 80. Sony Pictures Television execs were reportedly impressed by Richards' "command of the fast-paced game and easy on-air manner" when he guest-hosted in late February, according to Variety. However, the prospective host is now facing backlash over his involvement with two harassment lawsuits brought on by two former models at 'The Price is Right' during his tenure as the show's producer, the Daily Mail reported.
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Brandi Cochran sued FremantleMedia North America and The Price is Right Productions in 2010 claiming producers had sidelined and harassed her after she became pregnant. While Richards was not named as a defendant in the lawsuit, Cochran alleged in it that he stopped talking to her as much after she became pregnant and implied she would have been fired from her job if the pregnancy hadn't been kept under the wraps.
In her lawsuit, Cochran alleged that she was forced to announce her pregnancy on-air. She said she was given less work as soon as she revealed she was carrying twins and became the subject of weight gain jokes by her co-workers. Cochran revealed that one of her twins had died in a miscarriage, and the other was born three months premature. Under considerable stress that she would lose her job due to her weight gain, she discovered that she had been deleted from the show's website. Cochran was initially awarded over $8 million in compensatory and punitive damages. However, the ruling was later overturned as she settled with the company.
In 2011, Lanishia Cole brought a lawsuit against Richards, a fellow producer, and FremantleMedia North America for wrongful termination and sexual harassment. According to her, the producers insulted her in front of her colleagues and alleged that Richards began ignoring her and favoring another model he was dating in 2009.
According to the Los Angeles Times, Cole said Richards had obstructed her modeling career by creating policies "which never before existed." She told The Times that her case was "about senior-level men in the entertainment industry exploiting power and control over women by bullying and harassing female talent." However, the lawsuit was settled in 2013. Richards was dismissed as a defendant in the suit before the settlement was reached.
Who is Mike Richards' wife?
While not much is known about Richards' personal life, he has confirmed over the years that he is married to Stephanie Richards, originally Stephanie Hull, and they have two children together, according to Distractify. During an interview with Parade, Richards spoke of how Alex Trebek genuinely cared about his family, especially his children. "We were talking about the show and he transitioned to talking about the impact of Covid-19. He called it a challenge to humanity," Richards said. "He wanted to know how not getting to go to school was affecting my children. He genuinely cared about my kids but also all children."
That said, a source has revealed that the decision on finalizing the new Jeopardy! host is still pending as show bosses speak to other potential candidates. However, Richards is widely considered to be the frontrunner.