The Emmy-nominated actress who spent 25 years playing Nicole Walker on Days of Our Lives – and garnered international attention as the subject of Donald Trump’s vulgar comments about “grabbing” women by “the pussy” that surfaced during the 2016 presidential election – has filed a new lawsuit alleging sexual harassment, discrimination, and retaliation on the set of the NBC daytime soap opera.
Arianne Zucker alleges in her new complaint filed in Los Angeles County Superior Court that former Days executive producer Albert Alarr repeatedly subjected her to unwanted sexual advances and physical touching during production – and that she was written off the show and eventually fired for reporting his alleged abuse.
“Alarr would frequently grab and tightly hug plaintiff, purposely pushing her breasts onto his chest, while moaning, ‘Oh Ari!’” her complaint, obtained by Rolling Stone, reads. “Alarr would put his hand on plaintiff’s waist, with his thumbs placed just above her vagina, and move her around, all the while smirking and grinning in a sexual manner, making plaintiff extremely uncomfortable.”
The complaint alleges Alarr also would make comments to Zucker’s costar during scenes such as “You really just want to fuck her,” and “Believe me, I’d love to switch positions with you.” Zucker alleges she also observed Alarr tightly hugging other female actresses “while moaning sexually” and when someone once questioned his actions, “Alarr curtly responded, ‘Women are so hysterical.’”
Zucker’s lawsuit names Alarr as well as Corday Productions and the show’s top boss Ken Corday as defendants. She alleges Corday failed to act when she voiced her concerns about Alarr, “flippantly” passing her off to the show’s chief financial officer because the production purportedly had no functioning HR department. Zucker says she was in contact with Sony’s human resources department when she was written off the show in June 2023 “in retaliation for her complaints.” She alleges Corday finally terminated Alarr after she and two dozen other employees drafted a petition to end Alarr’s employment that was picked up by national media. She says subsequent contract negotiations involving the possible return of her character ended with producers offering her a substandard “take it or leave it” offer that was akin to a contract termination.
Reached by text message on Wednesday, Alarr responded that he had not yet seen the complaint and had “no comment.” A rep for Corday Productions said the lawsuit’s allegations are” without merit.” “Corday Productions offered to renew Ms. Zucker’s contract including offering her a pay increase. Rejecting Ms. Zucker’s counteroffer does not constitute retaliation,” the rep said in the statement. “Complaints about Mr. Alarr’s on-set behavior were promptly investigated. Corday Productions fully cooperated with the impartial investigation and subsequently terminated Mr. Alarr.”
Zucker, 49, found herself unwittingly in the political spotlight seven years ago when the 2005 recording of Donald Trump speaking with former Access Hollywood host Billy Bush leaked to the Washington Post. In the recording, Trump made his highly vulger and offensive comments after catching a glimpse of Zucker while sitting on a bus, awaiting a cameo appearance on Days of Our Lives. In the recording that became a flashpoint in the 2016 presidential race, Bush pointed out Zucker as the one in purple who was set to escort Trump to the set. “Your girl’s hot as shit,” Bush is heard saying, to which Trump replies, “Whoa!”
“I better use some Tic Tacs, just in case I start kissing her,” Trump continues. “You know, I’m automatically attracted to beautiful — I just start kissing them. It’s like a magnet. Just kiss. I don’t even wait. And when you’re a star, they let you do it. You can do anything… Grab ‘em by the pussy. You can do anything.”
After news of the recording broke, Trump dismissed the tape as “locker room talk.” Zucker responded with a statement making it clear she considered the statements offensive. “I have grown to learn that the words of others cannot [affect] the value of my self-worth or define the content of my character. How we treat one another, whether behind closed doors, locker rooms or face to face, should be done with kindness, dignity and respect,” she said at the time. “Unfortunately, there are too many people in power who abuse their position and disregard these simple principles and are rewarded for it. In understanding the magnitude of this situation, I choose to stand tall with self respect and use my voice to enrich, inspire and elevate the best of who we are as people.”