Teen Voice of “Dora” Sues Nickelodeon for Unpaid Millions

By DANIEL MACHT
|  Thursday, Oct 7, 2010  |  Updated 7:38 PM EDT
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The Dora The Explorer float moves through Columbus Circle during the Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade.

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Dora says she was duped.

Caitlin Sanchez, a 14-year-old New Jersey girl who voiced the lead role on Nickelodeon’s animated “Dora the Explorer” program, has reportedly filed suit against the kid’s network, claiming they owe her millions.

The complaint, filed in Manhattan's Supreme Court Wednesday, accuses Nickelodeon and parent companies Viacom and MTV Networks of pressuring Sanchez and her parents to sign a bum contract “within a half-hour” of seeing the terms of the deal, according to CNN.

Sanchez also claims to have worked over 100 national events to promote “Dora” while being given $40 per-diem to cover expenses, the New York Daily News first reported.

"She is suing because they paid her nothing for residuals, a few thousand dollars for merchandising and ended up making her spend most of her time - uncompensated - promoting the $11 billion Dora brand rather than performing as a paid actress," her lawyer, John Balestriere told the News.

In a statement to CNN, Nickelodeon denied the network nickel-and-dimed Sanchez, calling the teen's claims “baseless.”

“Unfortunately, Caitlin's voice changed and she was no longer able to portray the Dora character, as happened with the actress who originated the role,” Nickelodeon said. “Caitlin's contract was extensively negotiated through her agent and in compliance with her union. She was well-compensated for her work and for personal appearances. We have enjoyed working with Caitlin on Dora the Explorer these past three years, and we did in fact offer her a contract for other work with us."

Sanchez, of Fairview, New Jersey, replaced Kathleen Herles as Dora’s voice when she signed up for the English-Spanish language gig in 2007, The Associated Press reported.

The kiddie show is broadcast globally and averages nearly 2 million viewers per episode, according to the AP. 

Selected Reading: Daily News, CNN, Associated Press

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