The producers of “X Factor” were sued today by a contestant who alleges her voice was altered and that other measures were taken to ensure her audition failed.
Sally Hessnice filed the lawsuit in Los Angeles Superior Court against Blue Orbit Productions Inc., Syco Television and FreemantleMedia North America Inc., alleging intentional infliction of emotional distress, false light invasion of privacy, defamation and gross negligence. She is seeking unspecified damages.
A representative for the producers could not be immediately reached.
The suit states that Hessnice auditioned four times for “X Factor” and that the last was done in front of a live audience on May 22, 2013. The final audition was broadcast in September 2013 with her voice changed to sound “screechy and unprofessional,” the suit states.
The positive audience reaction was replaced with footage of disinterested onlookers and Hessnice was ordered to walk around on a floor with an uneven surface, according to the lawsuit.
“This was an intentional effort by defendants to disrupt her performance and pre-arrange the outcome of the audition,” the suit alleges.
Hessnice, a trained singer who has performed for decades, has suffered “substantial embarrassment and emotional distress,” the suit states.
The law prohibits anyone from being involved in a scheme to pre-arrange the outcome of a bona fide contest, the suit states.