5:01pm PT by Ashley Cullins
Beverly Hills Plastic Surgeon Sues E! to Stop 'Second Wives' From Airing
E! is being sued by a plastic surgeon who says producers of a reality series called Second Wives sought to incite his divorce and the show will ruin his professional reputation if it airs.
Beverly Hills surgeon Michael Obeng is suing the network and Bright Road Productions to try to keep the show from airing, according to a complaint filed Thursday in L.A. County Superior Court. He says he only agreed to do the show because he was assured it was about his happy marriage and wouldn't humiliate him — like some reality shows tend to do.
Obeng says he realized he'd been duped shortly after filming started, and claims producers staged artificial situations and demanded the doctor and his wife Veronika "engage in conflicts that were often fraudulent and deceptive."
He then stopped making appearances on the show and demanded E! not promote, market or distribute the series, according to the complaint.
The E! contract, which is attached as an exhibit to the complaint, contains a release and agreement not to sue and a mandatory arbitration provision — and it also clearly states that producers may edit footage to make a participant's portrayal "disparaging, defamatory, embarrassing or of an otherwise unfavorable nature" and may "make certain misrepresentations to" participants prior to and during production.
Obeng says he intends to fully abide by the arbitration provision, but felt seeking immediate injunctive relief was the only way to stop the series from airing. His arbitration demand form, which also is attached to the complaint, seeks damages for fraud and misrepresentation.
According to an E! spokesperson, “E! has not received a complaint and will not comment on this matter.”