Voice of Dora the Explorer Says She Was Cheated Out of Millions

10/07/2010 at 11:55 AM EDT

Voice of Dora the Explorer Says She Was Cheated Out of Millions
Caitlin Sanchez and her alter ego, Dora the Explorer
Arun Nevader/Getty; Nickelodeon/AP
Kids, avert your eyes!

Caitlin Sanchez, 14, who voiced Dora on Nickelodeon's Dora the Explorer beginning in 2007, and her parents are suing the network, claiming they were pressured into signing a complicated contract and then cheated out of millions of dollars, reports New York's Daily News.

The suit claims Sanchez was woefully underpaid, not compensated for hundreds of hours of recording, and forced to promote the show for a "meager travel stipend of $40 a day."

Sanchez's lawyer, John Balestriere, tells the paper she was cheated out of "millions, perhaps tens of millions" of dollars after being pressured to sign an "unconscionable" 14-page contract that the family had just 22 minutes to review without a lawyer's help.



"I've never seen as convoluted and inscrutable contract as I've seen here," Balestriere says.

The suit charges that Nickelodeon, MTV Networks and Viacom International "used Caitlin, unjustly enriching themselves of millions of dollars in profits from the series and branded products, which Caitlin performed and promoted."

David Bittler, a spokesman for Nickelodeon, called the 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," Bittler said in a statement Thursday. "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."

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