1:26pm PT by Eriq Gardner
MTV Sued for Publishing Home Address of 'True Life' Participants
Two individuals say their participation on an MTV show led to harassment and death threats and are suing the network after their home address was allegedly broadcast.
Tristan Watson and Nadine Crosbie were featured on True Life: I'm a Chubby Chaser, which was filmed last autumn and premiered on MTV in January. The show has been repeated several times throughout the year.
The plaintiffs signed a release for the show, but say they expressed concern about their security. In response, producers including Day Old Teeth, Inc., purportedly reassured them, including in an e-mail that pledged to "hide" the address from the episode. Further, one of the producers is alleged to have promised to give them a "sneak peak" of the episode and that the two would be involved in the editing.
Watson and Crosbie say these assurances were false and have now filed a lawsuit in New York state court.
According to a description of the show in question, True Life: I'm a Chubby Chaser was about two young men who pursue overweight mates.
Watson and Crosbie are cousins who live in the same home. The show, according to the plaintiffs, made visible "clearly and identifiably" their home street address and apartment number.
The lawsuit says there has been repercussions.
"Since the premiere of the Episode, Plaintiffs have been repeatedly harassed at their home and at school," says the complaint. "Plaintiff Watson has been threatened on online forums referencing the Episode and his address ('I know where you live'), and he has received a written death threat in a letter slipped under the front door to his apartment."
Watson says he now has left his job because of safety fears.
The lawsuit doesn't give much details about the rights they waived to appear on the program. Instead, they focus on the representations and promises made in getting the two to sign up for the show. The plaintiffs say, for example, they didn't get to enjoy a promised flight to Los Angeles.
Not surprisingly, Watson and Crosbie are unhappy with how the show turned out.
"Even though Plaintiffs had been told that the show was a documentary, they were dismayed to discover that the resulting Episode was neither true to life nor accurate in the portrayal of the sequence of events in the lives of the Plaintiffs."
Watson and Crosbie are suing for breach of contract, promissory estoppel and fraud. They are demanding at least $500,000.
A rep for the show hasn't returned a request for comment.
E-mail: [email protected]; Twitter: @eriqgardner