Mother of Teen 'Sex Addict' Sues 'Tyra' Show

By Laura Strachan, Esq. on October 19, 2010 | Last updated on March 21, 2019

The mother of a self-proclaimed teen sex addict is suing the Tyra show for featuring her child on her show discussing her sexual proclivities without her permission. According to Reuters, 15 year-old Jewel Washington answered an open call for sex addicts to come on the Tyra show to discuss the problem.

Jewel Washington was flown from her home in Georgia to New York City to tape the show. The problem? She was unaccompanied and her mother never signed any type of release. A release, she claims she never would have signed. Beverly McClendon is now seeking $3 million in damages ($1 million in compensatory, $2 million in punitive) as well as injunction against continued broadcasting of the TV episode.

ABC News quotes McClendon: "The show was undoubtly watched by sexual deviants, perverts, and pedophiles alike." The complaint in this case is mainly based on notions of parental consent for minors. Specifically, McClendon has two legal arguments: firstly, the producers needed to obtain written consent in order to "employ" Jewel Washington for the show; secondly, producers also had a legal duty to obtain consent in order to fly her and put her in a hotel in another state without a gaurdian.

The self-proclaimed sex addict was also paid for her appearance on the show. For the most part, minors are incapable of entering into contracts without the consent of their parents. This case represents a unique situation in that the appearance was a one-time occasion, and there are also some privacy implications involved based on the nature of the episode. In addition to suing the Tyra show, McClendon is also suing Warner Brothers Entertainment, and Tyra Banks.

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