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‘Eight is Enough’ Actress Says She Was Captive of Filmmakers in South Korea

December 29, 1987

LOS ANGELES (AP) _ An actress from the television series ″Eight Is Enough″ has filed a federal lawsuit saying she was lured to South Korea to make a movie, then was sedated and held against her will.

Susan Richardson, 35, said in the suit that she understood the movie was to be about lost children, but that it turned out to be a war film in which she and a dozen children were forced to work near live ammunition.

Miss Richardson added that she was injured while filming a scene in which an explosive destroyed a church as she approached the altar.

She played the part of Susan Bradford, a daughter in the populous Bradford clan. Dick Van Patten played the father in the show, which ran from 1977 to 1981.

The suit filed Thursday in U.S. District Court seeks $10,000 in punitive damages from the filmmakers, two men identified as U.S. Embassy employees and Korean Air Lines.

It named Frank Alfieri, owner of the filmmaking company identified as Mon Dragon; Dennis Christan; Gary Sorenson and Tom Beyer. Also named were John Holmes and Steven Hobart, identified as U.S. Embassy employees in Seoul; Tom Casey, an American who operates a tavern in South Korea; and Korean Air Lines.

Lee Steiner, manager of legal affairs for Korean Air Lines in Los Angeles, said he told Miss Richardson the airline was not responsible for any problems she encountered in South Korea.

Other principals in the suit could not be reached for comment. It was not immediately known where they lived.

The incidents occurred over a three-month period beginning in October 1986, said her attorney, Harry Wachtel.

Miss Richardson said in her suit that she was contacted by Christan, who said he was a U.S. Army captain and a film producer. She said he asked her about appearing in the movie.

The actress said she accepted the role and flew to South Korea, where film company members conspired to take her passport and keep her isolated and sedated in a small hotel in a rural area where no one spoke English.

Miss Richardson said she escaped the film set but was denied help by American embassy workers and the Korean National Police after associates of her boss bribed officials or lied about her situation.

She said she finally left the country after an attorney hired by her mother in Los Angeles intervened.

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