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‘Jeopardy!’ Permanent Host Mike Richards Says He’s ‘Deeply Sorry’ After Audio Resurfaces of Him Ribbing Female Co-Host on a Podcast

“Jeopardy!” new permanent host Mike Richards is facing fire again.

It’s been only a week since Richards was chosen to succeed Alex Trebek, the previous long-standing host, and now Richards’ past is gaining ground on him.

Mike Richards accepts the award for Outstanding Game Show for Jeopardy! during the 48th Annual Daytime Emmy Awards broadcast on June 25, 2021. (Photo by Daytime Emmy Awards 2021 via Getty Images)

In addition to the past lawsuits accusing him of harassment and discrimination that have been dug up, the former “Jeopardy!” executive producer is being called out for making derogatory comments about women in the 2013-2014 podcast called “The Randumb Show.” The show was promoted as a behind-the-scenes look at the “The Price Is Right” game show, where Richards was an executive producer at the time.

During an episode with Richards, his co-host, and his former assistant Beth Triffon, Triffon was in the middle of explaining her work as a model at the Consumer Electronics Show. This prompted Richards to dub her a “booth ho,” and when Triffon corrected him about the expression and said it was actually called a “booth babe,” he pushed further with his comments, and proceeded to use the term “booth slut.”

Richards also makes a habit of attacking women for their bodies and their clothing. When Triffon showed Richards a photo of herself and her friends wearing swimsuits, in another episode, Richards said her friends looked “frumpy and overweight.” Leaving all of the compliments for just Triffon, he told her “You look like a Sports Illustrated model, and then you’ve got one-piece malones on either side of you, which are just horrible.”

In a 2013 episode, Richards made more derogatory comments about Triffon’s finances. He asked her, “Does Beth live, like, in Haiti? Doesn’t it sound like that? Like, the urine smell, the woman in the muumuu, the stray cats.” With countless of other disparaging comments resurfacing from the podcast, Richards quickly penned an apologetic response, leaving “no excuse” for his actions.

In an Aug. 19 statement to People, he said, “It is humbling to confront a terribly embarrassing moment of misjudgment, thoughtlessness, and insensitivity from nearly a decade ago. Looking back now, there is no excuse, of course, for the comments I made on this podcast and I am deeply sorry.”

The 46-year-old added, “The podcast was intended to be a series of irreverent conversations between longtime friends who had a history of joking around. Even with the passage of time, it’s more than clear that my attempts to be funny and provocative were not acceptable, and I have removed the episodes. My responsibilities today as a father, husband, and a public personality who speaks to many people through my role on television means I have substantial and serious obligations as a role model, and I intend to live up to them.”

The chatter about Richards began when fans grew frustrated that he was chosen over the list of other people that were asked to guest host during the search for the new host. Some celebrities that took on the guest host role were Ken Jennings, Robin Roberts, and George Stephanopoulos from “Good Morning America,” Anderson Cooper from CNN, “Reading Rainbow’s” LeVar Burton, and more.

“Jeopardy!” has not made any statements yet in regard to the claims accusations against Richards.

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