Nancy "Coco" Johnsen accuses the Real Time host of reneging on a marital promise

By Stephen M. Silverman
Updated November 11, 2004 03:45 PM
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Satiric TV pundit Bill Maher is being sued by a former model and flight attendant who claims he shook her at a party and reneged on promises to marry her and buy her a home in Beverly Hills.

Nancy “Coco” Johnsen is accusing Maher, 48, of breach of contract, fraud, battery and assault, and she’s seeking $9 million and other unspecified damages in her action, filed Wednesday in Los Angeles Superior Court.

Maher did not respond to an Associated Press request for comment.

In her papers, Johnsen claims she fell in love with the HBO Real Time host during a 17-month relationship that began in January 2003, at which time she was enjoying full benefits after 12 years as an employee with Delta Airlines. She was also, the suit says, “a successful fashion and glamour model, represented by legitimate agencies, and earning substantial income.”

According to the suit, Maher convinced Johnsen to quit her job, marry him and have children. She also alleges he promised to reimburse her for clothing and other expenses necessary for her to accompany him as a “power couple” and that he would support her for the rest of her life.

She also claims he was going to buy her – and put in her name – a house “formerly inhabited by Ben Affleck and Jennifer Lopez.”

But after she quit her job at Delta, Johnsen said, Maher ended the relationship in May, when he “verbally abused” her and became angry with her at a party where he shook her, resulting in back and neck injuries.