Ex-"All My Children" Star Sues ABC
In a court case worthy of a soap-opera storyline, actor Michael Nader is suing ABC for $32 million, claiming the network wrote him off the hit daytime drama All My Children while he was on medical leave.
The case--filed last week in New York State Supreme Court--has it all: drugs, betrayal, ruined careers and truckloads of cash.
Nader, whose AMC alter ego was the Erica Kane-courting Count Dimitri Marick, says in his suit that he needed to take medical leave in February 2001 after he "became ill."
Nader claims he was "ready, willing and able" to make his comeback in March 2001, but ABC "encouraged" him to remain on leave. By September, though, Nader was allegedly persona non grata at AMC, with ABC execs refusing to let him return to the soap. To make matters worse, Nader alleges, ABC also refused to release him from his contract--which means the actor couldn't work anywhere else.
According to Nader the network caused him severe stress and trashed his acting career when it deep-sixed his character. By offing the count, he alleges the network broke the contract he signed in April 2000, which was supposed to pay him $436,800 a year for four years, about $1.74 million.
In addition to the $1.74 million, he's seeking $25 million in compensatory damages and $5 million for intentional infliction of emotional distress.
One little detail the 57-year-old declines to mention in the court filing: During his "medical leave" he was actually in rehab following a narcotics bust in a seedy East Village after-hours bar. (He allegedly tried to sell a $20 bag of cocaine to an undercover cop.)
Nader eventually pleaded guilty to a reduced charge and was sentenced in May 2001 to three years' probation.
No comment yet from ABC on the lawsuit.
Even before the lawyers got involved, Nader's AMC tenure had its share of twists. He joined the soap as the lady-killing Hungarian count in 1991, was written out in 1999, resurrected in 2000 and then written out again the following year, following his arrest and rehab.
Nader got his start with bit parts in 1960s beach flicks like Pajama Party and Muscle Beach Party, before shooting to nighttime soap stardom as Joan Collins' love interest, Farnsworth "Dex" Dexter, on ABC's hugely popular Dynasty in the '80s.