In an interesting piece of TV news, The Bachelor is suing Stephen Carbone, a.k.a. Reality Steve, claiming $75,000 in damages, according to reports.
NZK Productions and Alternative Television, Inc. take issue with his tactics of “soliciting information from participants, cast, crew and/or other employees” by “inducing them to breach their confidentiality obligations.”
Steve has been posting lots of The Bachelor, Bachelorette and Bachelor Pad spoilers for years, and surprisingly detailed, mostly accurate ones at that.
The wild ending of Jason Mesnick's season of The Bachelor, when he dumped winner Melissa Rycroft for Molly Malaney after the show aired, was Steve's first big scoop.
It's unclear who the mole is - Steve is just some dude from Texas who posts this stuff in long-winded rants on his personal site - but producers claim he's liable for damages because those who participate sign confidentiality agreements.
Several of his tactics are highlighted, like this one email:
“Let me just say, I’m very well aware of your contract,” Carbone allegedly wrote an unnamed source. “I also know that over 500 contestants have been on this show and not one of them has ever been sued for the $5 million."
"It’s just a scare tactic. Trust me. Just like they had no idea you sent me that last email, they’ll have no idea about any correspondence either.""I know you’re scared and a little paranoid, but don’t be. Unless they are hacking your email or tapping your phone, there’s absolutely no way for them to find out.”
The suit also highlighted this email to a former contestant:
“I’m aware you were eliminated at the SF rose ceremony, so I probably actually know more about what’s happened since you left than you do, however ... I do have some blanks that need to be filled in during the early episodes."
"I’m aware of your contract, but no one would know of our conversing.”
The producers claim to have sent cease-and-desist letters to Carbone earlier this year. Now they’re arguing his actions “constitute unfair and illegal business acts” and are “unscrupulous, immoral, unethical, oppressive and injurious.”
Carbone did not respond to an email from EW. The Bachelor returns January 2, with Ben Flajnik in the starring role. Steve has yet to spoil who wins this coming spring.
Watch the trailer for the 16th season of the show below: