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Thursday, December 7, 2023
Courthouse News Service
Thursday, December 7, 2023 | Back issues
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‘Jersey Shore’ Star Accuses Bar of Typecasting

MANHATTAN (CN) - A former "Jersey Shore" star who made headlines when a truck ran her over while she was tanning claims in a federal complaint that she faced harassment at a tony New York cigar bar, where co-workers offered her tacos and salmon in exchange for hugs and suggestive photos.

Brittany Taltos says her celebrity became hard to control after she and her twin sister, Erica, starred briefly in the fourth season of the MTV reality show, which portrayed Taltos and her sister "as the often-drunk, sexually promiscuous 'girlfriends' of one of the cast members of 'The Jersey Shore.'"

Though the 11-page complaint filed Monday does not specify with whom Taltos had a relationship on the show, the Taltoses were reportedly "twinning" with co-star Mike "The Situation" Sorrentino.

The sisters then got cast in "Bachelor Pad," where all the female cast members on the show were portrayed engaging in "similarly wild, party-girl antics," she says.

Taltos made headlines again in October 2012 when her head was run over by a truck while sunbathing in her front yard in Gainesville, Fla.

"Plaintiff's accident gained national attention on several news outlets and on social media, causing individuals to bash plaintiff's reality-star promiscuous persona, and commenting that plaintiff deserved to be hit and should have been killed," the lawsuit states.

On her Facebook page, she ranted about the incident, stating: "It was my front yard," and that, "There was no where to park where I was laying."

It was the day doctors removed 15 stitches from her head that Taltos says she "decided to turn over a new leaf" and shed her reality TV reputation.

She moved to New York City with plans to go to school, and got a job as a server at Merchants NY Cigar Bar on the Upper East Side, but Taltos' television persona followed her.

She says the male kitchen staff offered her "tacos and salmon" for "hugs and suggestive pictures of herself."

The kitchen staff also made a habit of looking up her skirt when she walked up the stairs from the basement storage room back into the restaurant, she claims. Another worker allegedly placed himself strategically in the narrow path of a walkway so that she would have to "side-sweep" his body.

Workers would rub her thighs, try to stick a finger in her butt and even reached up her skirt, according to the complaint.

"The kitchen staff also offered to buy plaintiff new lingerie," she says.

One worker even asked her, "How much for you?"

When she sought clarification to the question, the worker responded, "You know, sex."

Taltos said she complained but that her boss told her: "They're just Mexicans. Calm down. Don't let it get to you."

She resigned in January, stating in an email: "I am no longer able to tolerate the sexual harassment in the kitchen. It has taken a huge toll on me over the past few months and regardless of numerous complaints it continued to happen."

The whole incident left her feeling "extremely humiliated, degraded, violated, embarrassed and emotionally distressed," her lawsuit states.

Attempts to reach the restaurant were unsuccessful Wednesday afternoon.

Taltos seeks damages for discrimination and aiding and abetting. She is represented by Bryan Arce in Manhattan.

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