Manzo alleges network employees "ply the Real Housewives cast with alcohol ... and then direct, encourage and/or allow them to sexually harass other cast members because that is good for ratings"
In documents obtained by PEOPLE, the former Real Housewives of New Jersey star claims that employees associated with the network and its affiliated companies — specifically Forest Productions, Warner Bros. Entertainment, NBCUniversal Media, Shed Media and Peacock TV — "regularly ply the Real Housewives cast with alcohol, cause them to become severely intoxicated, and then direct, encourage and/or allow them to sexually harass other cast members because that is good for ratings."
When reached, a rep for Bravo, Peacock and NBC Universal had no comment. Reps for Shed Media, Forest Productions and Warner Bros. did not immediately respond to PEOPLE's request. PEOPLE has also reached out to Manzo's attorney for comment.
In January 2023, PEOPLE was first to report that Glanville, 51, and Manzo, 62, would be departing RHUGT early after Glanville allegedly took things too far during a party and kissed Manzo multiple times throughout the evening without her consent.
In the lawsuit, Manzo calls herself a "victim of those harmful actions" and seeks to hold the defendants "accountable for their unlawful conduct" and "discourage" them from "continuing to sacrifice their cast members’ safety for their own ratings and profits." (Glanville is not named as a defendant in the lawsuit.)
At the time of the 2023 incident, a source told PEOPLE, "It was unwanted. And Caroline's distress over the matter did not seem to stop Brandi. Things escalated and physical boundaries allegedly were crossed that Caroline felt were serious and uncomfortable."
Now Manzo claims that Bravo "caused" and "allowed" Glanville's "acts of sexual harassment and assault." The filing also states that Bravo did not require Glanville to attend a sexual harassment class mandatory for all talent prior to filming.
On the night the alleged incident occurred, Manzo recalls making a "conscious effort" to be "kind" to Glanville in the wake of a fight they'd had earlier that afternoon. When she arrived on set, she noticed the Housewives had already started drinking and some looked visibly intoxicated. She claims that the women would make frequent comments about her breasts, asking, "Are they real or fake?"
The night progressed and Manzo and her castmates retired to a couch near the bar to watch a snake handler. Manzo claims that Glanville walked over to her, spread her legs and leaned into her before resting her head on Manzo's inner thigh. When she moved away to the opposite end of the couch, Glanville allegedly followed her and "exterting her dominance" kissed Manzo with a closed mouth. She recalls feeling "very uncomfortable" after Glanville kissed her a second time.
The documents state that Glanville then "proceeded to mount Manzo on the couch, holding Manzo down with her body, forcibly squeezed Manzo’s cheeks together and thrust her tongue in Manzo's mouth while humping her."
Manzo claims she wasn't able to "free herself" despite attempts to push off Glanville's body due to the former model's "much greater weight, size, and strength." Manzo says she eventually broke free and excused herself to the bathroom. Manzo alleges she was in a "state of shock" and the incident had triggered traumatic memories of her being sexually assaulted when she was 7 years old.
Glanville and Manzo entered the bathroom at the same time as castmates Gretchen Rossi and Alex McCord, according to the lawsuit. While Manzo was washing her hands, Glanville allegedly "came behind Manzo, forced her vagina against Manzo’s buttocks, breasts against Manzo’s back, wrapped her long arms around Manzo forcibly restraining her and began washing her hands with Manzo’s hands entwined."
When she went to exit, the door was locked and Glanville reportedly pinned her body against the door and "pressed her breasts and vagina against Manzo." Attempting to unlock the door, Glanville "repeatedly hit Manzo's hand away from the door lock."
Glanville then reached her around her body and "forcibly fondled" Manzo's vagina and breasts while pushing her face into Manzo's neck to kiss her, the filing claims. From inside the bathroom she cried for help though nobody ever came. Manzo claims that producers sent someone to "investigate" the bathroom door after hearing the interaction on audio though he "never opened the door or took any other action to intervene and stop the sexual assault."
Manzo says she was eventually let out of the bathroom by McCord, who noticed what was happening. Later that night, Glanville attempted to go to the bathroom Manzo for the second time, allegedly saying she had too much to drink when she rose to use the facilities and massaged her breasts.
After letting producers know about the alleged assault, Manzo requested she not be left alone with Glanville again.
Despite that, Manzo received a text from Glanville the next morning that she says read: “I’m sorry I made you feel uncomfortable." Manzy says she did not respond.
Manzo alleges that production was "more focused on the continuation of the show" than her well-being and asked her to meet with Glanville before she was removed and put in a nearby hotel.
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In February 2023, shortly after news of the incident surfaced, representatives for Peacock and Shed Media issued a joint statement to PEOPLE.
"The safety and security of cast and crew while shooting is extremely important and we take all reports seriously," read the statement. "In this situation, production immediately launched a comprehensive review and is taking appropriate action."
If you or someone you know has been sexually assaulted, please contact the National Sexual Assault Hotline at 1-800-656-HOPE (4673) or go to rainn.org.
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