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Tyra Banks sued by mother of self-proclaimed teen sex addict

October 19, 2010 | 11:35 am

Tyra Banks at the Vogue anniversary "Are you obsessed with sex," asked "The Tyra Banks Show" website, "and unable to control your sexual impulses? If so share your story and maybe we can help."

But if the person who answers that call is underage, things get a bit more complicated.

The mother of a teenage girl who appeared as a self-described sex addict on "The Tyra Banks Show" has sued host Tyra Banks, Warner Bros. Entertainment and the executive producers of the show, alleging they flew the girl to New York and put her on TV without parental consent or the proper work papers from the state of Georgia.

Jewel Ciera Washington was 15 when she appeared on "The Tyra Show" late in 2009 after allegedly responding to a solicitation for "sex addicts" to appear as guests on the now-defunct program. According to Beverly McClendon's $3-million federal lawsuit, producers reached Jewel directly and did not get parental permission before flying her out to New York, putting her up alone in a hotel and paying her to tape the segment, in which the she talked about losing her virginity at age 9, hooking up via phone chat lines, getting pregnant three times and having sex with more than 20 guys, one of them a 37-year-old when she was 13.

McClendon, who filed suit Thursday, is seeking an injunction against further distribution of Jewel's segment, as well as compensatory and punitive damages. Warner Bros. had no comment Tuesday morning to Reuters or the Associated Press.

During the segment, Dr. Drew Pinsky observed about Jewel, "She is parentalized, she looks 25, she seems very competent and to hear her say something like 'I have no purpose' really strikes me as incongrous with what I'm sure your life is like, which is, you take care of a lot of people. They need you."

Jewel described herself as "trapped in a dark place" and said she knew she needed help, because she thought about sex constantly, might have herpes and cried herself to sleep at night thinking, "I don't deserve to live."

Solicitations for the show — billed as one that "gives young women the 'girlfriend' they want to hang out with, and the role model they need" — included "Teen leading a double life?," "Is your mom a cougar?," and, of course, "Addicted to sex?"

The show's final season wrapped up this spring, and guests are no longer being booked.

— Christie D'Zurilla

Photo: Tyra Banks at a Vogue event in Paris on Sept. 30.  Credit: Laurent Cipriani / Associated Press