Thu. Sep 24th, 2020

EXCLUSIVE! Tippi Hedren Comes To Highlight Hollywood To Shoot Down Erroneous Reports About Lawsuit Award, Star Implores Supporters Of Shambala ‘The Fight Is Far From Over’

Earlier in the week, there were reports that the legendary star of Alfred Hitchcock’s “The Birds” was awarded a $1.5 million dollar settlement against a former employer.  The truth could not be any further from the media reports.  The beautiful star of “Marnie,” who has worked tirelessly for legislation at the federal level, to protect the majestic Big Cats from being housed in private homes, also animals for sales and business sales (films, photography, Advertising, etc…) are all in need of protection of their rights, tells Highlight Hollywood exclusively, that the headlines were erroneous and that in fact, she may never see the money, and was stunned that the headlines have gone around the world. 



“When I read the story in a Hollywood trade publication, I was sick, Tommy.  I have not gotten a dime, and may not see one.  All the while I have to raise tens of thousands of dollars each month just to care for these beautiful, thinking and feeling animals, who frankly would be destroyed if allowed to stay where they were.  I appreciate every single donation and had to quickly write to and contact our ROAR members to let them know that I did not get the award that magazine claims.  And to think, all they had to do was call me for a comment before they ran off to tell the world essentially that I no longer need financial help for these animals,” said the star and animal rights advocate Tippi Hedren. 

Miss Hedren has been unable to accept several projects; movies and television because of the severe headaches she endures after a terrible accident on the set of a TV project.  The fact that Tippi still needs to raise $75,000 every month to keep Shambla Preserve going, was one of the reasons why the headlines were so distressing to Ms. Hedren.  “You know how badly I was in pain, then I was blessed to get a titanium plate put in my neck.  After that surgery Tommy, I was able to improve, I was not feeling as much pain, which I had endured for years.  Finally it was working, then I spoke with my doctor about a project, and he wanted to ensure that I was not going to be doing any (action) work or stunts, and I assured him, that I was playing a dying woman, who uses a walker in scenes, and would not even be on my feet most of the time, then the horrific accident occurred which destroyed all the improvements I’d made physically from the previous operation two months earlier which was finally working, and then I had no alternative but to file a suit to receive recompense for my not being able to work.  That being said, I had an attorney who truly screwed up my case, and the jury agreed, but he didn’t have the money to pay me and that’s what the Court of Appeals upheld. The verdict, not the payment. Chances are I won’t ever even see the money, and that what hurts so badly, that in all of this pain and suffering that publication ran with a swift and not researched story, which told people around the world who have been so gracious and thoughtful about sending donations, that I no longer needed them. 
“Even if I had gotten the $1.5 million, which you know never happened, that is a drop in the bucket for what needs to be done on the Shambala facility, Tommy, which needs work desperately. I’ve been working so hard with my representative, [Buck McKeon] to fight for legislation to outlaw the ability for individuals to raise these beautiful Big Cats, and ultimately they are not able to care for them. But even if the Bill, which I cosponsored gets through committee and voted on in the House and the Senate, and heads to the President’s desk, which hopefully he’ll sign, there would still be two plus decades of my facility and those like mine needed, since the cats that are currently coming into the system so to speak live twenty years.  Tommy, I need to actually raise more money than I have in the past to bring in new animals that are needy of the rehab process, which is very difficult.  It’s devastating and I felt sick when I heard about the story in that magazine, which has gone global, thanks to the Internet.”

The beautiful star is fighting for these animals and feels almost betrayed by a publication that really should not have run with a story without verifying and fact-checking it. 
As the world renowned star clearly stated to Highlight Hollywood in this exclusive interview, the fact is, this is not an award, and she may ever see the monies owed her, and in the meantime, the Big Cats in her charge need to be cared for.  So, she’s determined to continue her fight for them, and doesn’t really have time to do lots of interviews, but needed to assure Shambala supporters that there is no flush of cash that has hit Ms. Hedren’s hands, and may never arrive.  So, she desperately needs you to continue to support her efforts to protect and give refuge to these beautiful majestic Big Cats, who without Tippi’s tireless commitment, would be abused, neglected or even euthanized.  “Tommy, even those who have donated $10.00, $50.00, $100.00 or a $1,000.00, are all so appreciated.  Kids have sent money after raising it in schools, these people are so important to me, all of you are so important, and it makes me physically ill to think that there are people out there who believe this work is over now, and that I have the money to care for these creatures, as you know, you’ve been here, it’s ongoing,” said Ms. Hedren.  
In addition to that, I can personally tell our readers, that although Tippi had a huge early career, with the making of “Marnie” and “The Birds,” and has continuously worked for decades, even appearing on Bill Bell’s “The Bold and the Beautiful.” Ms. Hedren is far from wealthy. She’s personally used virtually every dime she’s made over the years for the Big Cats and Shambala.  This facility is not a circus, she is totally against how circus animals are treated.  Tippi has taken in beautiful Big Cats from some of the biggest stars in the world, who somehow have abandoned them, and don’t even look back. That’s why she’s worked for years and is cosponsored the Big Cat Protection Act so that people will stop being so utterly careless with these animals.  “They are just like we are, Tommy. Only more physically powerful. Sometimes they come in and they have issues, such as spousal abuse, they are thinking and feeling creatures, they are not a goldfish that someone should just put in a cage and forget about.  You’d be surprised by what people are doing across the country, how many states and localities feel it’s fine to bring one of these beautiful cats, as a kitten into homes, and then they grow and it’s not even their own fault that they are dangerous and powerful. They are wild animals, and they belong in the wild, and their strengths there are necessary.  The ignorance has to come to an end, but right now I’m devastated by having to put out this fire, that this rumor that we no longer need help is going around. It’s absolutely not true. Our donations have already been affected, and I ask you to get the word out, please,” said Tippi. 

As we stated, and do again, the  California Court of Appeals has affirmed the jury’s verdict, it does not mean that she has received one cent of this verdict. In fact, she has not.  Tippi has not yet received one dime of the award which was awarded  to her by a jury in September of 2011.  Even though the Court of Appeals recently ruled in her favor, the defendant has yet to pay the award.  The process of collecting on the jury’s 2011 award is far from over.   And may never come to be. 

 When asked has this false reporting affected her fundraising for Shambala, which she already puts every dime she has to her name in this effort to care for these beautiful creatures. Tippi admitted that it’s been a devastating hit during this normally charitable holiday season.  “I just need you and others to get the word out, Tommy. It’s absolutely appreciated by me what our donors give us. We know that they care about these animals, and I personally cannot thank them enough.  But please know that the need is as great and thanks to the false reporting, it’s greater now than ever.  

Needing at least one million dollars a year, to keep The Roar Foundation funding The Shambala Preserve, the sanctuary where the rescued exotic felines have been living out their lives since 1972 when she began rescuing these unfortunate dangerous animals. This is a matter Tippi didn’t expect to have to deal with right now. However, she has fought valiantly for decades for the animals who have no voice, just as she stood her ground against the most powerful man in Hollywood, [ Alfred Hitchcock], who essentially destroyed her career and kept her from doing other projects for other filmmakers while bitter about her rebuff of his advances. This woman is not a shrinking violet, she still has the spunk and the fire in her belly to fight for these creatures, but she needs you to know, that she’s not able to do it alone, and that the reports of her abundance of wealth are not only exaggerated, but downright incorrect.

It’s really amazing to me, how one story that was not fact-checked, and only one phone call to Tippi would have given the truth of the matter, not given a false narrative that has gone around the world via the Internet.  And now her beloved Big Cats are paying a steep price for this.   
Highlight Hollywood is a believer and supporter in Shambala, and in what Tippi Hedren has spent decades of her life doing.  Your financial support is need more than ever now.  There are so many abused and abandoned wild cats in her care. Please do not stop giving now.  Tippi thanks all of you for your past support, now get the word out, please.  Do not let the headlines fool you. Again, there hasn’t been one single dime of the verdict paid to Ms. Hedren at any time since the verdict was appealed. 
“I so appreciate you getting the word out, Tommy.  Now believe it or not, I have to pull up my sleeves and go to work, these animals depend on me, and they depend on you, all of you, your readers and anyone else out there that has it on their heart to help us at Shambala to care for these beautiful cats. I think I became ill over this because I know that they ultimately will suffer. I’m used to things being said about me that aren’t true, but this one thing affects so many others, so many animals.  I can assure you, your donations are not only appreciated, but needed.”

You can make  donation and also share this story, please.  Send to everyone on your mailing list, that you believe loves animals like Tippi does, and ask them to share the news, that Shambala is still very much in need.  Not only deserving, but in need.  Maybe someone in Hollywood or on Wall Street looking to make a difference in the lives of these animals can also think about a sizeable donation to help Tippi help her Big Cats. 
ZuesTo make a donation or learn more about Shambala, please go to: You will also see Tippi’s official statement on her homepage.  Please do NOT believe the false reports about her award.
Written By: Tommy Lightfoot Garrett
Photographs are Courtesy: Bill Dow Photography
Follow us on Twitter @HighlightHwd or @LightfootinHwd