In a lawsuit against "Dance Moms" producers Collins Avenue Entertainment and the show’s star, Abby Lee Miller, former fellow cast member Kelly Hyland alleges her daughters were “subjected to abusive and unlawful working conditions” while appearing on the series, according to a Feb. 14, 2014 report from The Hollywood Reporter.
The lawsuit, which also names Hyland’s two daughters as plaintiffs – Brooke and Paige Hyland – was filed in Los Angeles Superior Court, the report says.
In the complaint Hyland notes that during season two of "Dance Moms" she had her attorney talk to producers about the “extreme burden” that was being placed on her children and was told if she backed out of the contract she entered she would be sued, according to the Reporter.
The show is filmed primarily at Miller’s dance studio in Pittsburgh, Pa.
The suit also claims Miller yelled at Hyland’s children and made them cry in front of other dancers, moms, and the crew.
Hyland also alleges daughter Paige began showing symptoms of anxiety and experienced panic attacks, which a school counselor concluded was due to the child being “bullied by Miller.”
The suit also addresses an incident seen on the last episode of “Dance Moms” in which Hyland is seen slapping Miller and pulling her hair during a confrontation backstage at a dance recital in Bronx, NY. In the complaint, Hyland describes the incident by saying an angry Miller, “weighing 300 pounds or so, angrily lunged” at Hyland and “tried to bite her,” the Reporter writes.
After the confrontation, police were called and Hyland argues that she was whisked away at the “insistence of producers,” who she believes wanted a warrant to be issued for her arrest to create more compelling television, the lawsuit states.
Hyland was later arrested and released without bail after voluntarily going to police. She argues that during a hearing, Miller defamed her at an arraignment by calling her an unfit mother in front of both Lifetime, the network that airs “Dance Moms,” and TMZ cameras.
The suit also notes that Miller subsequently appeared on the ABC talk show, “The View,” and defamed her by saying Hyland was an alcoholic, according to the Reporter.
Hyland says in the suit she and her daughters were called on by producers to participate in the latest season of “Dance Moms,” but argues she was not paid and is owed over $20,000 for damage to the floor of her home.
She is seeking both exemplary and punitive damages for emotional distress, anger, humiliation, anxiety, and anguish, according to the Reporter.