Former “Dancing With the Stars” cast member and “General Hospital” star Ingo Rademacher is firing back at ABC in court as part of his discrimination lawsuit, accusing the network of harassing many people in his life, according to reports by My News LA, Radar Online and Soap Opera Network.
Here is what we know so far:
The Lawsuit Stems From Rademacher’s Termination From ‘General Hospital’
In late 2021, Rademacher filed suit against ABC in which he argued that the network’s vaccine mandate is unconstitutional and that he should receive a religious exemption. When he refused to get vaccinated due to said religious exemption, ABC fired from him “General Hospital” after nearly 25 years on the soap opera.
In an email to Disney’s HR department, Rademacher said that he has a “deeply and sincerely held moral belief that [his] body is endowed by [his] creator with natural processes to protect [him] and that its natural integrity cannot ethically be violated by the administration of artificially created copies of genetic material, foreign to nature and experimental,” according to a report from Variety.
Now according to multiple outlets, Rademacher is asking the court to stop ABC from subpoenaing a group called Protection of the Educational Rights of Kids (PERK), whom Rademacher says ABC believes is funding his lawsuit.
According to the reports, the actor said the subpoena is part of the network’s “campaign of intimidation to harass and pressure” the actor to “drop the case against them” and that ABC is “intentionally harass[ing] every single person” he may have had contact with in the past five years in an effort to “destroy” his character and “ascertain how someone could afford to bring such a case against ABC.”
Soap Opera Network reports that Scott J. Street, the attorney for Rademacher, says that all coversations between himself, Rademacher and PERK have been “in preparing for the litigation of this case” and because those conversations were held at Street’s direction, they are “private and confidential and are protected from disclosure by the attorney-client privilege and work product doctrine.”
PERK’s website states that it defends “parental rights” and “educational rights” of children by opposing vaccine mandates and protecting children’s “right to medical freedom and the right to attend school.”
Rademacher Was The Second ‘General Hospital’ Actor Fired Because of Refusing to Get Vaccinated
In addition to Rademacher, actor Steve Burton, who played Jason Morgan for 30 years on “General Hospital,” was also fired from the soap opera for refusing to get vaccinated.
“I wanted you to hear it from me personally. Unfortunately, ‘General Hospital’ has let me go because of the vaccine mandate,” said Burton in an Instagram video. “I did apply for my medical and religious exemptions, and both of those were denied. Which, you know, hurts. But this is also about personal freedom to me. I don’t think anybody should lose their livelihood over this. … I’ll always be grateful for my time at ‘General Hospital.’ I love it there. I grew up there. I grew up with some of you.”
Rademacher posted a similar video to his Instagram account at the time of his departure from the show.
“This is my official video to say that I’m no longer on the show, which I never got a chance to do … I’m sorry that I didn’t put out this video earlier, but this is about thanking you guys, the fans of the show and also the ‘General Hospital’ crew and cast. I was on the show for 25 years, they’re like my family, a lot of the people there. I was really hoping that I could play Jax for another 10 or 25 years, and unfortunately, that’s not gonna happen, obviously,” said Rademacher.
He added, “I want to thank you guys for sticking with Jax for 25 years and I’m sorry I’m not there anymore to play Jax, which is still something that I’m trying to process. It’s just kind of crazy. I’ve enjoyed meeting many of you over the years and I certainly enjoy reading all of your amazing positive comments.”
Rademacher competed in season 16 of “Dancing With the Stars,” finishing in fifth place with his partner Kym Johnson Herjavec. Heavy has reached out to the actor for comment but has not heard back as of the time of this writing.
“Dancing With the Stars” returns for its 31st season in the fall of 2022 on Disney Plus.