April 15, 2024

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‘Love Is Blind’ Contestant Sues Netflix Over ‘Traumatic’ Experience

3 min read

The Netflix reality series “Love Is Blind” is embroiled in legal drama once again.

On Tuesday, contestant Renee Poche filed a lawsuit against both Netflix and the show’s production company, Delirium TV, claiming “unlawful employment practices” as well as “unfair competition” and “intentional infliction of emotional distress.”

She wants to halt a $4 million arbitration penalty the show’s producers sought against her in November for allegedly violating a nondisclosure agreement by speaking publicly about her experiences on the show.

“My experience on ‘Love Is Blind’ was traumatic,” Poche, a Texas native who works as a veterinarian, told Variety on Wednesday. “I felt like a prisoner and had no support when I let Delirium know that I didn’t feel safe.”

She went on to note: “I believe Delirium is trying to silence the abuse that occurs behind the cameras and ruin me for telling the truth.”

‘Love Is Blind’ Contestant Sues Netflix Over ‘Traumatic’ Experience
‘Love Is Blind’ Contestant Sues Netflix Over ‘Traumatic’ Experience

Poche’s screen time on the fifth and most recent season of “Love Is Blind” was relatively brief. However, she was matched up with ex-fiancé Carter Wall, who is described as a “walking red flag” who was “emotionally abusive on and off camera” in court documents cited by “Entertainment Tonight,” among other outlets.

Though Poche said in the complaint she was “utterly terrified of Wall” and expressed her concerns to Netflix and Delirium TV officials, she claims she was “forced to spend long stretches of time alone with him.”

To represent her, Poche has reportedly hired powerhouse attorneys Mark Geragos ― whose previous clients included Michael Jackson and Winona Ryder ― and Bryan Freedman.

HuffPost reached out to Netflix representatives for comment on the suit but did not hear back as of Thursday night.

“Love Is Blind” premiered on Netflix during the early days of the COVID-19 pandemic in 2020 and became an instant smash. The series follows 15 men and 15 women from the same metropolitan area who are hoping to find love.

Over a period of 10 days, the prospective couples go on a series of “dates” from the privacy of individual pods, where they communicate via a speaker but cannot see each other.

Poche’s case isn’t the first to be filed against “Love Is Blind.” In October, it was reported that Season 5 contestant Tran Dang had come forward with sexual assault claims against Thomas Smith, her former fiancé on the show. She also claimed that she was “falsely imprisoned” by the show’s producers, who she said acted with negligence.

The show’s creator, Chris Coelen, responded to Dang’s suit by emphasizing the safety measures that were taken during filming.

“If anybody ever came to us and said they felt unsafe in any way, we would immediately remove them from the experiment and talk to them, and try to get to the bottom of it,” Coelen told People at the time. “We do not tell people what to say, what to do, we consistently tell people that this is their journey, this is their life to lead as they choose. We’re there to follow it.”

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