The teenage actress who gives a voice to Nickelodeon’s “Dora the Explorer” is suing the producers of the decade-old kids show for allegedly cheating her of millions of dollars. Lawyers for Caitlin Sanchez, 14, claim the actress and her parents were duped into signing an “unconscionable” contract that prevented Sanchez from receiving compensation for hundreds of hours of recording sessions.
A lawsuit filed in Manhattan Supreme Court on Wednesday alleges that Kevin and Hilda Sanchez unknowingly signed a contract that allowed Nick execs to exploit their daughter out of “millions, perhaps tens of millions.”
The Sanchezs say when Caitlin, then 12, became Dora’s voice 2007, they were pressured by Nickelodeon and Caitlin’s agent, Jason Bercy, into signing a 14-page contract after being given just 22 minutes to review it and were not permitted to consult an entertainment attorney. Per the contract, Caitlin was promised only $5,115 per episode and compensation in residuals and merchandising. The young star was also allegedly forced to fly around the country to promote the show for a “meager travel stipend of $40 a day.”
“I’ve never seen as convoluted and inscrutable contract as I’ve seen here,” says attorney John Balestriere, who represents The Sanchez Family in their suit. “Defendants used Caitlin, unjustly enriching themselves of millions of dollars in profits from the series and branded products, which Caitlin performed and promoted.”
Nickelodeon, MTV Networks, and Viacom International are named as defendants in the Sanchez suit.