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Broadway Producer Hit with Sex Lawsuit

NY – A PROMINENT Broadway producer is so “sexually obsessive” that she can’t keep her hands off actors in her productions, a blockbuster lawsuit charges.

Dede Harris, [pictured right] the Tony Award-winning producer of “Hairspray,” “Dirty Rotten Scoundrels” and “A Raisin in the Sun,” failed to disclose allegations of past sexual harassment to the co-producers of her current off-Broadway play, “Dog Sees God,” they charge in court papers.

And her partners say she has been up to her old tricks with the sexy young stars of “Dog Sees God.”

They claim she “made sexual overtures to one or more male . . . cast members” and “gratuitously grabbed the breast” of an actress.

Her conduct, the suit says, has “caused one or more cast members” to leave the show.

The actors are not named in the suit, but in recent weeks, Ian Somerhalder (“Lost”), Eliza Dushku (“Buffy the Vampire Slayer”) and America Ferrera (“Real Women Have Curves”) have all left “Dog Sees God.”

Two production sources said the breast Harris allegedly “grabbed” was Ferrera’s.

Harris told The Post yesterday, “Every single accusation is 100 percent false.”

She said the suit was filed by a “first-time producer who has lost his investors’ money and is trying to put up a smokescreen instead of dealing with it.”

She was referring to Peter Stern, who, along with Martian Entertainment, is seeking $5 million in damages against Harris for “fraudulent, reckless and grossly negligent conduct.”

“Dog Sees God,” a satire about the “Peanuts” characters created by Charles Schulz, opened to poor reviews at the Century Theater in December and has been struggling to stay open ever since.

In their suit, Stern and his partners say that during a game of “Truth or Dare” with the cast, Harris “directed one or more of the male DSG [‘Dog Sees God’] cast members to ‘feel her up.’ ”

They also claim that Harris failed to disclose that, as producer of the off-Broadway play “tick, tick . . . Boom,” she “sexually harassed” the show’s star, Joey McIntyre.

Harris denied the charge, as did McIntyre’s manager at the time, Jerry Jaffe, who said: “It’s all news to me. It sounds pretty preposterous.”

A source who worked on the show said no charges were ever brought against Harris but that her behavior around McIntyre was “inappropriate.”

The suit also claims that Harris “sexually harassed” Gabriel Byrne when he starred in “The Exonerated.”

A source who knows both Harris and Byrne says the producer was often “overly flirtatious” with the actor, but that the two are on friendly terms.

Stern told The Post he was so concerned about Harris’ actions around the cast of “Dog Sees God” that he sent her a “cease and desist” letter, telling her to stay away from the actors “outside the business relationship.”

He said Harris never responded.

Harris leveled some allegations of her own.

She claimed that on Monday night at the theater, Stern, “in a drunken rage like I have never seen in my life, yelled at me, called me a ‘c- – -‘ and threatened my life. He was out of control and ready to jump on me.”

Stern, who describes Harris as “an aging Heidi Fleiss,” admits to yelling at the producer and using “colorful language” but says he never threatened her life.

“I was very angry because she came to the theater to tell the cast she was closing the show,” he said. “I may have said, ‘You’re dead if you close the show,’ but I never threatened her life.”

The dispute has gotten so ugly, the cast has banned all producers from the theater.

Bert V. Royal, who wrote the play and says he “had a lot of differences with Dede” during rehearsals, says the experience has been “upsetting” for him and his cast.

“I’m writing screenplays now,” he said, “and I probably won’t write another play. I was really scared of Hollywood, but frankly they’ve been a lot nicer to work with.”


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