TV's 'Survivor' sued
February 6, 2001: 7:57 a.m. ET

Former contestant charges producer rigged her ouster, manipulated outcome
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NEW YORK (CNNfn) - A former contestant on the popular television show "Survivor" is suing its producer, alleging he rigged the outcome by arranging to have her voted off the show, according to a published report Tuesday.

Stacey Stillman, a practicing attorney, filed a 14-page suit in San Francisco County Superior Court in which she claims "Survivor" producer Mark Burnett "improperly abused his relationships with the contestants," USA Today reported.

Stillman says Burnett persuaded two contestants, Sean Kenniff and Dirk Been, to vote her off the show instead of Rudy Boesch in the series' third episode. CBS also is named as a defendant.

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Stillman alleges that Burnett wanted to keep Boesch, 72, because he feared a backlash if the first three contestants to be removed also were the oldest, the newspaper reported.

Boesch became one of four finalists for the $1 million prize, which was won by Richard Hatch.

"By picking and choosing who stays and who goes, that affects he alliances that form, and ultimately the outcome," Stillman told USA Today.

CBS denies the charges, first detailed in a book by Peter Lance alleging producers manipulated the show.

"They had no merit then, they have no merit now that she has packaged them into a frivolous and groundless lawsuit, the network said.

Kenniff told the paper that Burnett did not influence his vote. A spokesman for Been declined to comment.

Stillman is seeking unspecified damages for prize money and lost wages, outof-pocket costs, and payment of CBS' profits from the show to a fund to be shared by viewers.

The paper also reported that Stillman delayed the lawsuit, asking CBS to put her on another reality-based show "that wasn't manipulated," and later sought a $5 million settlement. Both requests were rejected. graphic