Love Is Blind is now the subject of more legal trouble

Love Is Blind
Love Is Blind
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New legal action directed at Netflix and Love Is Blind production company Delirium threatens to topple the reality television house of cards. The dating show has already been the subject of numerous hostile workplace allegations by contestants, and previous participant Tran Dang filed a suit in October alleging sexual assault, false imprisonment, and negligence. Now, Renee Poche has also taken legal action against the show after Delirium initiated a multi-million dollar arbitration against her for violating her nondisclosure agreement after she made “some limited public remarks about her distressing time on the Program, including the terrifying experiences she had” with fellow contestant Carter Wall (via Deadline).

“On her first night in Los Angeles, the Program’s production staff seized Poche’s phone, passport, and driver’s license,” Poche’s suit alleges. “When not filming, Poche was locked in her hotel room, unable to leave without a ‘castwrangler’ accompanying her. She was expressly forbidden from interacting not only with other participants but also with random hotel guests and staff. In some ways, and this is a sentiment shared by many participants, Poche felt like a prisoner.”

Poche tells Variety that her “experience on Love Is Blind was traumatic” and that she got no support from Delirium when she said she felt unsafe. (Poche has alleged that her relationship with Carter Wall was abusive both on and off camera.) “I tried to deal with these emotions over time and eventually felt like I needed to share what had happened,” she said. “I felt it was only right to let others know the truth of what all of the castmates had to endure.”

As a result of Poche speaking up, Delirium is seeking $4 million for the violation of her NDA—despite the fact that she only made $8,000 on the show. “I believe Delirium is trying to silence the abuse that occurs behind the cameras and ruin me for telling the truth,” she tells Variety.

Poche’s lawyers Bryan Freedman and Mark Geragos argue that the NDA itself—like similar agreements at other reality programs—is “illegal, invalid and unenforceable.” The attorneys also represent Bethenny Frankel in her crusade against Bravo, and pressure from them caused NBCUniversal to back down from the enforcement of NDAs on its reality programs. Freedman now says they have “hundreds of clients” ready to fight similar battles in the reality space.

“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 tells Variety. “It is, in sum, a license to wreak emotional and financial havoc all while profiting for an eternity. For years, the studios, production companies, and networks have wielded these contracts as both a sword and a shield, in a conspiracy to ensure silence from those who know the truth. This is exactly what Bethenny Frankel was referring to when she selflessly shined the light on these illegal practices.”