Jurors to hear closing arguments in 'Melrose Place' case
December 10, 1997
Web posted at: 12:17 p.m. EST (1717 GMT)
LOS ANGELES (CNN) -- Closing arguments were to be heard
Thursday in the trial for the pregnancy-discrimination
lawsuit filed by actress Hunter Tylo, who was fired from the
popular television show "Melrose Place" before she appeared
in a single episode.
Before defense attorneys rested their case Tuesday, a
deposition given in September 1996 by Hollywood mogul and
series creator Aaron Spelling was read to the Superior Court
jury. Spelling was unable to appear in court, because he is
recovering from surgery.
In the deposition, he testified that he was "stunned" to
learn that Tylo had become pregnant after being hired to play
the role of a sexy seductress on the show. Tylo is suing
Spelling Television Inc. and Spelling Entertainment Group for
pregnancy discrimination, wrongful termination and breach of
contract. She is seeking unspecified damages.
In his testimony, Spelling said he believes pregnant women
can be sexy, but it would be improper to have one play the
role of an unmarried "vixen" on "Melrose Place."
At the time the deposition was taken, defense attorney Nathan
Goldberg asked Spelling if he felt it was possible for a
pregnant woman to be enticing. Spelling responded, "I think
that's a horrible question. It's insulting. I won't answer
Then, without further prompting, he added, "Of course she's
still enticing. Of course, pregnant women can be enticing.
I'm married, we have children. My wife was enticing when she
was pregnant. But she was not sleeping with a man who she
was not married to."
In further testimony, Spelling described the nighttime serial
as a "sensual show." He said he and the show's producers had
created a role in which the actress would be required to wear
skimpy, sexy clothes, and bare her stomach, arms and legs.
The "vixen" role might even require some tasteful nudity, he
"You try to get as much sensuality ... without actually
revealing total nudity," Spelling said.
Because of the eventual change in Tylo's body because of her
pregnancy, Spelling said he agreed with the opinion of his
producer, Frank South, that it would be impossible for the
actress to fill the role for which she was hired.
Earlier in the week, a Spelling attorney testified that when
Tylo became pregnant, she violated a clause in her contract
barring her from undergoing a "material change of
Tylo claims she was discriminated against for being pregnant,
and that she was wrongfully terminated. Her attorneys call
the "material change" clause a "red herring."
Tylo, a longtime actress on the daytime soap "The Bold and
the Beautiful," had given up her role there to move to
"Melrose Place." She has since returned to the "Bold and the
In a written statement, Spelling Entertainment said the
company has offered Tylo a different role on "Melrose Place"
for next fall, if the show is picked up for a sixth season.
Reuters contributed to this report.