A recent legal complaint claims that Love Is Blind, the popular Netflix reality series where participants pursue relationships without seeing each other, conceals instances of drug use, mistreatment, confinement, and emotional turmoil behind the scenes.
Hollywood attorneys Bryan Freedman and Mark Geragos filed the lawsuit in California against Netflix and Delirium TV, the show’s production company. The legal action aims to void the contract of former contestant Renee Poche, asserting intentional infliction of emotional distress and citing numerous violations of the state’s labour and civic codes.
Following a gruelling audition process, Poche was given a run in the show for which she earned $8,000. However, Delirium soon sought private arbitration for $4m against Poche for allegedly breaking her non-disclosure agreement.
“My experience on Love is Blind was traumatic,” Poche told Variety in her interview. “I felt like a prisoner and had no support when I let Delirium know that I didn’t feel safe. I tried to deal with these emotions over time and eventually felt like I needed to share what had happened. I felt it was only right to let others know the truth of what all of the castmates had to endure.”
Poche claims that during the initial night of filming, the production team of the show confiscated her phone, passport, and driver’s license, confining her to a hotel room where she couldn’t leave without a staff chaperone. She became involved in a showmance with a contestant named Carter Wall, who she declares financially unstable, unemployed, homeless, and struggling with amphetamine and alcohol addiction. Poche alleges enduring prolonged periods with Wall, whom she characterizes as abusive, and their relationship concluded after the filming concluded.
“At first I thought that these reality contracts were some sort of prank,” Geragos told the publication. “What Renee suffered and Bethany exposed is not just rampant but part of a dirty industry secret. We fully expect thousands of claimants to come forward when they realize that these so-called contracts are not just illusory but also illegal.
“These so-called reality TV contracts are, in reality, illegal,” continued Freedman. “They are designed for an illegal purpose and are void as a matter of law. We have hundreds of clients who are ready to assert their claims.”
“Renee’s contract protects Delirium and Netflix from liability for future intentional misconduct and includes ruinous penalties in the millions of dollars for participants who dare to speak out about the unsafe working conditions on set,” Freedman told Variety. “It is, in sum, a license to wreak emotional and financial havoc all while profiting for an eternity.”
Both Netflix and Delirium have yet to comment publicly on the matter.