Patricia Heaton’s new sitcom is already under fire as her husband, who serves as one of the executive producers on “Carol’s Second Act,” has been accused of inappropriately touching one of the former writers. David Hunt has been accused of sexual misconduct in a scandal that sparked the resignation of two female staffers from CBS.
According to an explosive report from The New York Times, Broti Gupta, a writer for the series, went to human resources at CBS and complained that Hunt allegedly touched her inappropriately on two separate occasions. One time took place outside of a work dinner back in August, where the writer claims Hunt hugged her while complimenting her pants and running his hand up her thigh. She described that the incident made her feel “uncomfortable.”
Weeks later, Gupta was sitting at a meeting next to co-executive producer Margee Magee when she claims Hunt jerked her by the shoulders while looking for something nearby.
Gupta told Magee how she felt about the incidents and was encouraged to speak out about Hunt’s alleged behavior. The two women went to the showrunners on “Carol’s Second Act,” where Hunt’s wife, Patricia Heaton stars as the series lead. CBS opened an investigation into the matter.
Gupta told The NY Times she was not interested in a payday, and thought education would be more beneficial to Hunt.
“I told them just my own personal code of ethics, which is that if there is space for education instead of punitive measures, then I believe in education.”
Unfortunately, the two women claim they were ostracized from the show and kept away from rehearsals after complaining to show execs. “That gave me no option but to leave the show,” Gupta explained.
Magee similarly claims she lost many of her responsibilities after bringing the situation to HR. She ended up resigning in October over what she believes was retaliation for trying to help Gupta.
CBS gave a response to the NY Times, claiming that both Gupta and Magee left “of their own accord,” and that not only are they being paid for the remainder of the season, but CBS is not hindering them from speaking out about the incident or their experience.
“The matter was promptly investigated by human resources, and appropriate action was taken to address the complaint. The executive producer cooperated fully with the process. The writer and producer decided to leave the show of their own accord. CBS agreed to their request to be paid for the remainder of their guaranteed episodes this season, and we supported their request to waive any contractual provisions that would prevent them from speaking about their experiences on the show.”
The network also said it “looked into allegations of retaliatory conduct by the showrunners at the time they were raised, and we found no evidence of retaliatory intent in their interactions with the writer or the producer.”
Patricia and David
Actress Patricia Heaton has been married to British producer David Hunt since 1990. Hunt is the “Everybody Loves Raymond” star’s second marriage. They split their time between homes in Los Angeles and Cambridge and have four sons.
Hunt and Heaton’s production company, FourBoys Entertainment, is producing “Carol’s Second Act.” Back in 2014, she spoke about her views on marriage.
“Marriage is a really wonderful thing, but as hard as I had to work to get where I am professionally, I’ve had to do the exact same thing in marriage.”
Heaton has not yet made any comments regarding the allegations against her husband, or what the future holds for him on the CBS series.