NEW YORK – Kimberly Lengle , a pretty TV news producer slapped NBC with a lawsuit Tuesday claiming her “Dateline” boss Dan Slepian used her as “sexual bait” to lure targets for a hidden-camera series about drug-related prostitution, sex trafficking and sadomasochism.
Kimberly Lengle, was hired as a producer for the “Dateline” series “Wild Wild Web” by supervisor Dan Slepian in 2012.
“NBC filmed Lengle for dozens of scenes using hidden cameras. Some scenes involved her saying and doing things that made her feel uncomfortable and vulnerable because of her sex,” her Manhattan civil suit claims.
Slepian criticized Lengle for not dressing provocatively enough and even asked why she didn’t have any nude photos of herself to send to men looking for “personal assistants” — who were really after sexual playthings, according to court papers.
“As part of the story development process, the producers required her to engage in sexual role play and serve as bait for the targets,” the filing says.
When the blond 33-year-old went to NBC’s Standards Department, she was assured that she didn’t have to do anything that made her queasy, the suit says.
But Slepian threatened her job when she didn’t step up for the seamy work — including posting her photo in response to a Craigslist ad by a sexual deviant looking for a “human punching bag.”
“She told him that she believed it was dangerous for her to have sent her photograph, which the target could upload to multiple adult websites,” the suit says.
Most of the segments never aired.
Lengle says in her suit that male producers were never required to do stories based on sex — instead they were assigned pieces about automobile fraud and sick pets.
Non-sexual stories Lengle pitched were turned down or given to male staffers, according to court papers.
She quit last April after a senior HR director failed to intervene, her suit says.
An NBC News spokeswoman said Lengle’s allegations were taken “very seriously” but the company “determined that her claims were without merit.”
“We will vigorously defend our position in this case,” vice president of communications Ali Zelenko said.