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Warner Bros. responds to sexual harassment lawsuit brought by former 'Bachelorette' producer with arbitration demand

A still from Season 12's "The Bachelorette." (ABC)
A still from Season 12's "The Bachelorette." (ABC)

Warner Bros. has issued a new response to a complaint filed in Los Angeles Superior Court on Monday by a former "Bachelorette" segment producer. Becky Steenhoek alleged in the complaint that she was exposed to “pervasive and persistent sexual inquiries and language” about her own sex life while on the set of the show in 2016.

“Our findings did not support the plaintiff’s characterization of the events claimed to have taken place, which is why we are disappointed by the filing of this lawsuit,” Warner Bros. initially said in a statement provided to The Times for a story on the allegations published Monday.

Now Steenhoek's attorney on the matter said that Warner Bros. and NZK Productions, which produces the ABC reality show, has filed an arbitration claim with JAMS, a mediation and arbitration service. 

"Not surprisingly their first move is to move this into arbitration so you take it away from a public court system where the proceedings can be followed," said Steenhoek's attorney, Michael Morrison.

As outlined in The Times story, Steenhoek's suit alleges a work environment in which she was frequently asked graphic sexual questions by a group of the show's producers. When she complained to her supervisor, the lawsuit claims, she was fired. 

Steenhoek alleged that she was told, "I wasn't being enough of a bitch and that my morals were not a good fit with the show."

"Their purpose is to intimidate and silence my client," Morrison said of the studio's latest response. "My client will not be silenced."

Warner Bros. did not immediately return The Times' call for comment.

On Thursday afternoon, NBC announced that Megyn Kelly will interview Steenhoek in the "Today" show studio on Friday at 9 a.m. with Morrison joining via live remote. 

ALSO: Ex-'Bachelorette' segment producer discusses why she sued Warner Bros., alleging sexual harassment

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