Valerie Harper is being sued by a New York playwright who says she ruined his play by withholding her brain cancer diagnosis, a claim she says is outrageous.
He wants $2 million as a result of her alleged deception, while she insists no one was more surprised at the return of her cancer than Valerie herself.
In the lawsuit, filed last December, Broadway bigwig Matthew Lombardo accused the Mary Tyler Moore Show star, 74, of keeping her illness a secret.
This caused her to unexpectedly drop out of the 2013 play, Looped, which he says he invested big time in with the understanding she would perform.
But in new court documents, the Dancing With the Stars alum claims she believed she was in cancer remission, having had successfully undergone surgery.
She says she had no idea the cancer had returned and spread to her brain until January 2013, a month after she had re-signed her contract for Looped.
She also disputes Lombardo’s claim that she was hospitalized for a recurrence of her cancer in January 2012, causing her to miss the day’s rehearsal.
The star’s longtime husband, producer Tony Cacciotti, “took Ms. Harper to the hospital from the rehearsal because he feared that she had a stroke.”
Harper is requesting the suit be dismissed, and that Lombardo pay legal fees.
Sadly, the actress is still suffering from terminal leptomeningeal carcinomatosis, but she says she remains “cautiously optimistic” about the future.