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MTV Facing Entertainment Lawsuit Over “True Life” Show


October 5, 2012
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Two participants in MTV’s True Life series have filed an entertainment lawsuit against the network claiming that producers failed to hide their home addresses. Plaintiffs Tristan Watson and Nadine Crosbie claim that they have been harassed and even received death threats since the show was broadcast.

The plaintiffs acknowledge that they did sign a release prior to appearing on the show. However, they claim that producers made additional promises to them in response to security concerns raised by the plaintiffs. According to the Hollywood Reporter, the complaint cites an e-mail in which producers promised to “hide” the plaintiffs’ home address from the episode. The complaint also alleges that Watson and Crosbie were told that they would be provided “sneak peak” of the episode before it aired and would have a say in how it was edited.

However, when the episode of True Life aired, the plaintiffs’ home street address and apartment number were shown “clearly and identifiably,” according to the entertainment lawsuit. The plaintiffs maintain that they have suffered injury as a result.

“Since the premiere of the Episode, Plaintiffs have been repeatedly harassed at their home and at school,” the complaint states. “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 and Crosbie have asserted claims for breach of contract, promissory estoppel, and fraud and are seeking damages of at least $500,000. While the complaint does not expressly reference the terms of the releases signed by the plaintiffs, it does highlight the legal issues that can arise when producers make promises outside the terms of the written agreement.