Jay Leno is the target of a lawsuit over jokes made by himself and other comedians. A flight attendant named Louann Giambattista is suing Leno, “The Tonight Show” and NBC Universal over jokes that were made on the program during a July 2013 segment called “Woulda, Coulda, Shoulda.”
The bit featured three comedians cracking wise about a news story where Giambattista said she was falsely accused to carrying pet rats onto a plane in her underwear. Comedians Jim Norton, Alec Mapa and Kira Soltanovich each put their own spins on the story, joking that the rats were for a sexual use. “I don’t understand this one at all. If she wanted something that creepy-looking in her underwear she should have hooked up with me,” Norton said in the segment.
Giambattista says Leno stated the accusations against her as facts, before the guest comedians “systematically criticized, defamed, and humiliated” her, according to Courthouse News. The lawsuit also claims that the jokes have had a negative reaction on her marriage and husband, explaining, “Every time he looks at her he thinks of defendant Leno and the heinous segment depicting her as a sexual deviant.” Additionally the bit has allegedly done some damage to the husband’s ability to find work in the food service industry, due to his contact with rats.
NBC Universal has yet to address the lawsuit, but the segment has been pulled from the “Tonight Show’s” website and YouTube channel.