Top 10 Maury Controversies

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Top 10 Maury Controversies

VOICE OVER: Ryan Wild WRITTEN BY: Jordy McKen
With "Maury" coming to a close, it's time to look back on its biggest controverises. For this list, we'll be looking at infamous “Maury” moments both on and off-screen. Our countdown includes a 2017 harassment complaint against the show, sexual harassment allegations, the Lashana Scandal, and more!
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With "Maury" coming to a close, it's time to look back on its biggest controverises. For this list, we’ll be looking at infamous “Maury” moments both on and off-screen. Our countdown includes a 2017 harassment complaint against the show, sexual harassment allegations, the Lashana Scandal, and more! What do you think about “Maury”? Tell us how you feel in the comments.

#10: Three in One


Seeing an opportunity to do a “two birds, one stone” situation, Harry called up the “Maury” show to prove that he wasn’t the father to not one, not two, but three kids from three different women! The mothers have been telling him for years that the children were his. But he preferred burying his head in the sand and only admitting to having five other children. Well, you can probably guess where this is going. The paternity test showed all three of the kids on the show were his. So, Harry left “Maury” with eight offspring altogether. And probably a very expensive Child Support backlog to pay. Uh-oh.

#9: Harassment Complaint


In 2017, Barry Moore from Ohio filed a harassment complaint against the “Maury” show. One of the show's associate producers had contacted Moore via Facebook about a relationship he had years ago. They told him that a man who thought Moore was his father wanted Moore to appear on the show for a paternity test. Moore turned down the offer, but claims that the producer persisted, sending messages and calling him again and again. In response, Moore went to the police to file the complaint.

#8: Return Customer


As far as legendary guests go, Sholanda is up there just for the number of times she’s appeared on the show. Altogether, she’s popped up 19 times, requesting the same number of DNA tests to uncover the paternity of her three kids. Sholanda started her recurring “Maury” role in 2004 when she brought her husband on. She confessed that she’d cheated on him, and that their daughter, Kayla, might not be his. Turned out, she wasn’t. But even 17 tests later, the show’s search in finding Kayla’s biological father was unsuccessful.

#7: Pickle Factory


During his show’s run, Maury has invited several guests to share unusual phobias. But instead of providing support, he’s brought them face to face with their fears, leaving them dashing about in a panic. There was a woman scared of birds. And another terrified of mustard. But the best remembered is Mariah, who was afraid of pickles. After a moving vignette about her fear, Maury told everyone that they took her to a pickle factory. Then showed her a plate of pickles. Neither went well. While exposure therapy might work sometimes, this was really just done as cheap entertainment.

#6: The Lashana Scandal


It’s something that everyone has long suspected, but that had never been confirmed. Until 2007, that is. After appearing on the show the year before, Lashana alleged that her appearance had been fake. She had called the show to get a paternity test for her child. However, after the three men who might be the father refused to participate, the producers allegedly told her to just bring anyone. Lashana found Anthony and the producers created a script for them to follow. Lashana’s parents confirmed that it had all been scripted.

#5: A Father’s Rejection


Watching this family drama play out was painful, to say the least. In 2021, Ivy appeared on the show alongside her father Bobby and mother Sherry. However, Ivy faced rejection from Bobby, who was unable to accept that she was transgender. Bobby insisted on using Ivy’s former name and misgendering her. Her mother was also against Ivy’s transition, although somewhat more accepting. They were on the show for a paternity test, as Bobby claimed that one of his own relatives was really the father! Well guess what …

#4: Race Swap


In 2017, German model Martina Big was introduced onto the “Maury” show wearing a necklace stating “black girls rock”. Big was born with pale skin, yet underwent extensive procedures to – in her view – become Black. As Maury pointed out, there’s much more to being Black than that. In the past, Big idolized actor Pamela Anderson. So much so that she had many surgeries to alter her look, including inflating her chest to a back-aching size. After that, she decided she wanted to be Black and received numerous injections to change her skin pigment. Even her husband changed his skin tone. After the show, Big later went to Kenya to be baptized as “Malaika Kubwa”.

#3: Coached Audience


We’ve already discussed the whispers that a lot of events on the “Maury” show are staged. In 2015, Maury hosted a Reddit A.M.A where he insisted that everything on the show is real. However, some Reddit users have claimed otherwise. User “swallowedinthesea_” claimed they were an audience member for the show. Before taping began, someone in the crew told the audience how to react to certain situations, like booing during paternity tests and which guest’s side to be on. On top of the audience coaching, there are accusations from former “Maury” interns that even the guests are told how to act on stage, and that the stories are twisted to be more sensational.

#2: Sexual Harassment Allegations


Sometimes, it’s not just the drama onscreen that Maury is involved with. In 2006, former “Maury” producer Bianca Nardi sued the host for sexual harassment for $100 million. Nardi claimed that Maury, who’s married to Connie Chung, was having an affair with his show’s producer Donna Ingber. Moreover, she stated she was forced to take intimate photographs for the show and watch adult content with an executive producer. Nardi allegedly attempted to address the problems privately, to no avail. So, she went to court. Later, a judge ruled the case be taken to closed-door arbitration. Maury then sought a gag order against Nardi.

#1: Exploitative?


Most talk shows have been accused of being exploitative of their guests. And “Maury” is no exception. In 2019, Public Enemy’s Chuck D took shots at Maury and Jerry Springer on Twitter for exploiting young Black people. And Chuck isn’t wrong. The show does tend to play on stereotypes. There are also accusations that Maury takes advantage of poorer people for his TV circus. Reportedly, Maury and CBS analyst Gary McCord were playing golf one day, when McCord said he wouldn’t host Maury’s show for $5 million a year . Maury returned that neither would he. There are reports he was getting $14 million a year instead!
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