In a move that would be the first-of-its-kind in reality television history, former contestants of the ABC hit reality television shows, ‘The Bachelor’ and ‘The Bachelorette’ have spoken to attorneys and are in discussion to file a class action lawsuit, against creators Mike Fleiss and Elan Gale. This information was disclosed to us in an exclusive interview today by former contestant and ‘Bachelorette Season 4’ winner, Jesse Csincsak.
“Once you’re on the show, they own you,” Jesse said. ”Even when your contract is up, they still interfere in your life and prevent you from promoting other brands and making money.”
Jesse notes that the last straw for him came when Gale contacted his business partners and other companies telling them not to work with him. He says that the producers have also contacted former ‘Bachelor,’ ‘Bachelorette’ and ‘Bachelor Pad’ contestants threatening to blacklist them if they participate in any of Csincsak’s events.
Since appearing on ‘The Bachelorette’ Jesse has remained in the spotlight by hosting annual bachelor reunion gatherings with the former contestants and most recently he launched the successful web show ‘Reality Smackdown.’
Discussion about a class action lawsuit surfaced this month after Csincsak was reviewing his rights with his attorneys.
“I had planned to file my own lawsuit last month but after discussions with numerous people and former Bachelor contestants, we realized that this issue is much bigger than me,” he said.
This isn’t the first time ABC has been to court regarding the hit show. In 2003, the show’s producers filed suit against former ‘Bachelor’ Season 4 star, Bob Guiney for breaking his contract by promoting his new CD ‘3 Sides,’ and his music video. Guiney won the case.
Last month, spoiler blogger, Steve Carbone (a.k.a Reality Steve) was slapped with a lawsuit by the producers of ABC for coercing former contestants to breach their confidentiality contracts to help reveal spoiler activities for his website.
Jesse a retired pro snowboarder, who won the heart of DeAnna Pappas on Season 4 of ‘The Bachelorette’ is now married to former ‘Bachelor’ Season 13 contestant Ann Leuders.