NEW YORK (CBS/WIVB) A teenage former pageant queen is taking off her tiara and rings to give Disney a beat down in a New York court, says the New York Post.
Eighteen-year-old Alicia Guastafarro filed suit against Disney and its show "Wife Swap" for $100 million, alleging that the company's broadcast defamed her. She claims that she was mocked and derided by peers because the show "Wife Swap" portrayed her as an entitled princess - thus spoiling what had previously been a beautiful life.
The winner of 2000's Little Miss Buffalo pageant appeared with her parents on an episode of the spouse-switching show when she was 15. The show described the family as "appearance obsessed" and said they spent $100,000 per year for Alicia's pageant pursuits. "The Princess of Pageantry" showed off her vast pageant wardrobe for Wife Swap's cameras, said she wanted world peace, and that "appearance is everything in this world." Her mother Karen was paid $20,000 but all the beauty queen got was just a bunch of sparkle-free aftermath!
The lawsuit states, according to the Post, that "For their own profit, defendants purposefully, intentionally and knowingly caused severe emotional and psychological harm to a fragile 15-year-old." The resulting "incessant verbal and physical assaults from her peers," made Alicia complete high school in an alternate program. She is unhappy that the show's penalty clauses prevented her from explaining or defending her behavior which, she alleges, was the product of scripted lines.
"Wife Swap" airs on ABC, also named in the suit, whose parent company is Disney, an old hand at dealing with teen charmers. Perhaps Disney has gleaned some lessons from dealing with Miley Cyrus, The Jonas Brothers, and the members of The Mickey Mouse Club (for those who prefer vintage)?