Kristin Chenoweth was a guest on Watch What Happens Live to promote her latest book, I’m No Philosopher, But I Got Thoughts: Mini-Meditations for Saints, Sinners, and the Rest of Us. Host Andy Cohen asked Kristin about one of the stories in the book, an injury she sustained while filming The Good Wife. In 2012, Kristin joined the series as Peggy Byrne. However, she was injured on-location and unable to finish her character’s arc. During an outside shoot, a lighting feature hit her in the face, which threw her to the ground, causing a seven-inch head fracture and cracked teeth. Andy asked Kristin if anyone from CBS had reached out to her since she’d shared her story in the book. After Kristin said no, Andy said he was surprised she hadn’t asked for any compensation for the accident. Kristin said she regrets not suing them now and that the only reason she didn’t was because of fear and anxiety.
Kristin Chenoweth is revealing that she regrets not suing CBS after her injuries while filming The Good Wife in 2012 following an accident.
The Emmy and Tony award-winning star detailed the incident she suffered on the set of the drama in her new novel I’m No Philosopher, But I Got Thoughts. During an appearance on Watch What Happens Live, host Andy Cohen asked her if she had heard anyone from the eye network after releasing her book.
Chenoweth said no and agreed that she regretted not pursuing legal action against the broadcast network adding, “I didn’t do it out of fear and anxiety, so don’t ever let fear rule your life. I have long-standing injuries from that. I wished I had listened to my dad, who said, ‘You’re gonna wanna do this.’ And we’re not the suing family, but when you’re practically killed…”
The Pushing Daisies alum joined The Good Wife in 2012 in a recurring role for Season 4. While filming an episode on-location for the series, she was struck by a piece of lighting equipment and was hospitalized.
“I heard, like, a flagpole sound. I literally heard, ‘We’re losing the light.’ I heard, ‘Action.’ And I woke up at Bellevue [Hospital],” she recalled on the Bravo late-night show. “It hit me in the face and it threw me into a curb. Seven-inch skull fracture, hairline [fracture], and teeth and ribs.”
My gawd, that sounds horrifying. I was trying to make a connection between Kristin’s head injury and her chronic migraines, but she suffered from migraines before the accident. I can’t imagine the head trauma helped, though! Kristin was due to collect for this. I’m not quick to sue either, but she lost work as a result, specifically the series she was filming when a light almost killed her. I can’t believe CBS didn’t try to offer her something up front to make things right. I know it’s hush money, but at least Kristin would have gotten something. I hope they took it upon themselves to do a full investigation to see if negligence or faulty equipment was involved at least, make sure it didn’t happen to anyone else. Oh, who am I kidding. Like Hollywood cares if they aren’t being sued.
Kristin also said that the doctor asked what the metal clips on the back of her head were and she said they were hair extensions. The doctor said they were what saved her life because they kept her fracture together. See? Beauty can save lives! I’m glad Kristin is still here to tell this harrowing story with her signature humor. I’m sorry she still has issues from the knockout, though. I feel like there’s something that still could be done. In the clip, Kristin advises the audience, “don’t ever let fear rule your life,” like she had when it came to suing. It’s good advice. And hopefully something I won’t have to sustain a head injury to realize.
Kristin Chenoweth says she regrets not pursuing legal action against CBS for her injury on The Good Wife set: “I didn’t do it out of fear & anxiety, so don’t ever let fear ruin your life.” @KChenoweth #WWHL pic.twitter.com/efVTVVwUco
— WWHL (@BravoWWHL) January 17, 2023
Photo credit: Instagram, Getty Images and Xavier Collin/Image Press Agency/Avalon
I wonder if there is a statute of limitations? Can she sue now? That sounds like a horrible accident and subsequent injury. Man these big corporations do not care about anything or anyone but the bottom line.
Right!? I’m no fan of hers nor am I a fan of litigation, but that sounds horrifying! She absolutely deserves massive compensation. I’m shocked they didn’t have automatic on-set insurance or workman’s comp.
California’s statute of limitations for personal injuries is 2 years, like most states. It’s possible she could still sue for some other cause of action, but after 10 years it’s probably unlikely.
(Related to my comment on the Alec Baldwin thread) Sometimes actors and crew are independent contractors and sometimes employees. The difference I think is that “employees” rarely get to sue their employer because of workers compensation exclusivity. But if the lighting people were independent contractors and not fellow employees, then maybe she could sue *them* as third parties even if she couldn’t sue her employer. Again, I’m not a lawyer, just my experience as an employer (but not in the entertainment industry).
I didn’t remember her on the Good Wife, so I Ecosia-ed (is that a verb?) her role on the series.
Seems she indeed was going to have more of a storyline on the show, but they gave that storyline to another character.
So, yeah, in my opinion they definitely should have given her something as she even lost work on the set of the very show it happened at.
Thank you for introducing me to Ecosia with this post!
Accidents happen but, uh… this is a really, really, really bad (almost fatal) one.
Besides her family, I hope her “people” were encouraging her to sue because honestly she could have had severe health and financial repercussions from this (and maybe she did!!). Not to mention there should have been an investigation into whether this was just a freak accident or if it was the result of negligence.
It sucks she regrets not taking legal action now. I really feel for her. Thank goodness she seems to be doing okay health-wise. Also, I had to look up her age (54) because she looks fantastic in these pics. I have followed her career a bit, but if I hadn’t and you were like “oh she’s 40” I would be like daaamn she looks good for 40!
OMG. I remember her being injured, but had no idea it was that severe! I’m shocked she didn’t have every lawyer in town knocking on her door to sue CBS. I would imagine Workmen’s Comp. insurance covered all her medical bills, but she surely lost work for a long time. I wonder if she still could go back and sue?
I’ve seen her perform live in concert and on Broadway a few times, she is incredibly talented.
Honestly, this is something the union should take care of. Of course actors don’t want to sue, but the union should look into on set accidents and make advisories or arrange for a mandatory consultation. Really surprised that doesn’t happen. Because once an actor is out of work, they lose the great health insurance.
@concern fae, great point! Also, when you’re in the midst of a traumatic injury, it’s near-impossible to take on a lawsuit on your own. It’s overwhelming.
I live in the town she’s from, and where you’re never allowed to say anything slightly negative about this woman, but did anyone see the “documentary” she made about the 1977 Girl Scout murders and making it all about herself? Are we really sure that it was that bad or it is just another embellishment to get more attention?
Not allowed to say anything negative? Can I assume that the town you live in is NOT in North Korea?
What would happen if you did say something negative about her?
@Anne i’m sorry but what in the world does that have to do with an on set accident. And actors are afraid for their careers. if they sue and the result will be blacklisted from future work. That is the issue here. Working actors are in vunerable positions. And even the Union suing on their behalf will result in the same outcome. No studio or producer will want to work with them. That is what she was saying.
I saw the documentary you’re referring to, and she did not “make it all about herself.” She simply talked about her connection to the area where it occurred. It was mostly about the investigation and the parents’ quest for justice. If you took from it that it was “all about” Chenoweth, then I’m afraid you weren’t paying attention to the important parts.
I saw it as well, and just looked it up. She didn’t make the documentary, and is only listed as host/narrator. She wasn’t a producer, director, writer, etc.
I did think there was a bit much of her in it, particularly the music camp stuff, that could have been edited out, but that’s on the people who actually made the doc.
I had a friend who worked in a male dominated industry. And she was sexually harrased by several men in leadership roles. And she went to HR to complain. And instead of disciplining the men. They just shipped her off to an office that would box her out of her job. And she had to go find another job. When I asked her why she didn’t sue. She said, it’s a male dominated industry I would be killing my career that I love. For a lawsuit I had not guarantee of winning and would not be able to earn an income for years. It was an awful situation to be in.
And Kristin would have had to go up against Les Moonves. And we all know what he did to people that challenged him. He would have had her blacklisted and she never would have worked again. For a lawsuit that would have taken years and no guarantee she would win. Horrible position to be in for her.
She probably made the right decision to not sue. It’s highly likely it would have made things worse, per what you said. Very few people win out over big powerful corporations, for sure. It’s not worth the extra hell she’d put herself through and money.
I’m shocked her insurance company did not sue or force her to file a worker’s compensation claim