Former Contestant Sues <i>Survivor</i>

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A contestant from the first round of Survivor has sued the executive producer of the CBS reality series, claiming he rigged her early rejection from the island.

In a 14-page lawsuit filed Monday against CBS Corp. and Survivor creator Mark Burnett, San Francisco attorney Stacey Stillman claimed Burnett convinced two fellow contestants to vote her off to protect 72-year-old Rudy Boesch.

Boesch was the only remaining contestant over age 40, and Stillman alleges Burnett rigged the vote so the show would appeal to an older demographic.

CBS denied the allegations and said Burnett would have no comment.

“We heard about Stacey Stillman's allegations several months ago,” CBS said in a statement. “They had no merit then. They have no merit now that she has packaged them into a frivolous and groundless lawsuit.”

The show pitted two “tribes” against each other on an island off the coast of Borneo. Each week, one of the tribes voted off a member.

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Stillman, the third contestant turfed from the island, claimed damages for alleged fraud, breach of contract and unlawful business practices. Stillman asked for restitution for lost prize money, plus $75,000 for punitive damages.

Stillman accuses contestants Dirk Been and Sean Kenniff of conspiracy.

Kenniff said he didn't feel he was coerced. A spokesman for Been declined comment.

Boesch was among the final four of the 16 original contestants. The contest was won by Rhode Island corporate trainer Richard Hatch, who received $1 million.

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