Only six months after settling a previous lawsuit, The Bachelor producers have filed suit against Steve Carbone again, according to The Hollywood Reporter.
The producers of the ABC reality show claim that Carbone continues to persuade contestants and employees to breach their confidentially agreement to gain spoilers for his website, RealitySteve.com. Carbone was first sued by NZK Productions and Horizon Alternative Television in December 2011 for the exact same practices. The original suit was settled in June after Carbone promised to refrain from initiating contact with any Bachelor cast or crew.
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According to Bachelor producers, Carbone is now at it again. On Dec. 12, weeks before The Bachelor's 17th season is set to premiere on Jan. 7, Carbone posted detailed spoilers for the first five episodes, including the full names of the eliminated women. After seeing the "non-public information" posted on Carbone's site, the producers were quick to file suit again, saying they believe Carbone continues "to seek confidential information from participants, cast, crew and other employees of The Bachelor Series and, in the course of doing so, continue to solicit and induce participants and employees of The Bachelor Series to breach their contractual obligations to Plaintiffs."
When the first lawsuit was settled, Carbone admitted to offering compensation to three women who appeared on The Bachelor in exchange for information. In addition to the charges of tortious interference, Carbone is now also facing a breach of settlement agreement charge, with the original settlement including the stipulation of a $10,000 penalty per violation.
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But according to Carbone, the suit is "bogus." In an email to THR, Carbone defends himself. "The suit was brought in violation of the settlement agreement I previously reached with the producers of the Bachelor series," he said. "That agreement does NOT prevent me from publishing spoilers. The producers have provided no proof that I did anything in violation of our agreement because there is none. They just seek to put me out of business by intimidation and litigation costs. I am currently exploring my legal options, including a counterclaim."
Do you think The Bachelor producers have a valid claim against Carbone?