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 Reality Steve is being sued

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annie367
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PostSubject: Reality Steve is being sued   December 7th 2011, 11:02 am

The producers of the hit ABC reality shows, The Bachelor and The Bachelorette are suing a man who runs a website running spoilers, claiming the defendant is attempting to have contestants breach their confidentiality pledges.

The lawsuit was filed on Tuesday in California federal court by NZK Productions and Alternative Television, Inc.

The complaint targets Stephen Carbone, who runs a website entitled realitysteve.com, which regularly publishes updates and spoilers on shows including The Bachelor, The Amazing Race, Jersey Shore, and Survivor.

Carbone is accused of obtaining confidential information about the Bachelor series by contacting and soliciting information from participants, cast, crew, and other employees of the series. These individuals sign contracts that promise not to divulge non-public information about the show. Show employees leak spoilers at the risk of paying high penalties, often in the millions of dollars. Nevertheless, Carbone allegedly contacted them with knowledge they were subject to confidentiality obligations.

The plaintiff production companies include examples of Carbone's activity, such as a purported e-mail from him on November 17 to a participant on The Bachelor. It reads:

"Let me just say, I'm very well aware of your contract. 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 by it, but don't be. Unless they are hacking your email or tapping your phone, there's absolutely no way for them to find out."

It appears the producers did find out and are willing to prove that the confidentiality provisions in a cast contract are more than just a "scare tactic."

Carbone is alleged to have offered this Bachelor participant a monetary incentive to induce her to breach her contract. He allegedly wrote, "Since you are a student, and I know you have loans up the ying-yang, I'd be willing to compensate you...I swear, this is the easiest money you'd ever make and you and I are the only two people that would know."

A day later, Carbone followed up with another purported email that said, "$2500 to help me out. Not joking. Some of this stuff is driving me nuts ha ha."

The complaint goes on to list other examples, including an email to a former contestant so as to learn what happened after elimination and a message sent via Facebook to another contestant promising compensation for blabbing secrets.

The producers say they sent Carbone a cease-and-desist letter on August 12 and again on November 22, but that the legal warnings were ignored. The producers, represented by Linda Burrow at Caldwell Leslie & Proctor, are now suing for intentional interference with contractual relations and unfair competition and demanding at least $75,000 in damages and an injunction.

This isn't the first time that reality show spoilers triggered a lawsuit. Last year, Survivor producer Mark Burnett's company filed a lawsuit against a "John Doe" in order to compel discovery and find out who which former contestant was leaking secrets. Burnett's company eventually found their target.

The latest lawsuit, however, is the first one that we're aware of that uses a tortious interference claim (most famously dissected in the 1999 Oscar-nominated film, The Insider) to clamp down on leaks by seeking damages from those who would contact show contestants. It also represents a big move against spoiler websites, which often drive entertainment producers up the wall.

We've contacted Carbone and we'll update if we hear anything from him.

http://www.hollywoodreporter.com/thr-esq/bachelor-producers-lawsuit-reality-steve-270839
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Lori
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PostSubject: Re: Reality Steve is being sued   December 7th 2011, 11:07 am

Honestly I don't understand this lawsuit. Steve didn't sign a confidentiality contract. Seems to me the lawsuit should be aimed at those that violated their contracts.
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PostSubject: Re: Reality Steve is being sued   December 7th 2011, 11:35 am

It's all too stupid anyway. The producers should know that RS and other spoiling PROMOTES the show and makes some people watch it even more.

It's just a stupid TV show. In fact I think Bachelor/ette is probably the stupidest one ever. I hate myself for watching. I think the ick factor is large to very large.
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PostSubject: Re: Reality Steve is being sued   December 7th 2011, 12:07 pm

I can't decide what is crazier:

The silly lawsuit or RS paying someone $2,500 to tell him some silly scoop?
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PostSubject: Re: Reality Steve is being sued   December 7th 2011, 12:09 pm

That article says Mark Burnett found his target, which everyone and their brother knows is Russell Hantz. But they didn't do anything to him. And won't. They even have his nephew on this season. If it had been anyone else, they may have prosecuted them, but they love Russell, and so he got away with it. It would seem if a future contestant got caught for spoiling, all they'd have to do is cite the Russell situation, and the fact nothing was done to him.

I agree Steve brings in more publicity and more viewers for the Bachelor/Ette series. What I found interesting was the fact he is allegedly hounding these people for information, willing to pay for it, when he's always said the stuff just falls into his lap, without him even asking.
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PostSubject: Re: Reality Steve is being sued   December 7th 2011, 12:27 pm

Russell's nephew is on this season? eww...
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PostSubject: Re: Reality Steve is being sued   December 7th 2011, 5:24 pm

Russel's nephew is on Survivor Moody.

And I agree with Lori, go after the fools who violated their contract. Just cause someone offers they don't have to take it. And like Nancy says, spoilers get fans involved, etc. and I think most if not all watch the season BECAUSE of the spoilers.
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PostSubject: Re: Reality Steve is being sued   December 7th 2011, 5:33 pm

Lori wrote:
Honestly I don't understand this lawsuit. Steve didn't sign a confidentiality contract. Seems to me the lawsuit should be aimed at those that violated their contracts.
The networks obviously don't want to sue the contestants.
You're right ... Steve didn't sign any confidentiality contract ... I assume it's a scare tactic to get Steve to "cease and desist". These kinds of suits are often effective because it forces the respondent to spend money they may not have on lawyers.
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PostSubject: Re: Reality Steve is being sued   December 7th 2011, 5:39 pm

I can't remember which web site I read the following on. It had quotes from Jessie. He said that Fleiss offered him $30,000 to find out who was giving the spoilers to Steve. Jessie said all he could find out was it was someone in editing.

I haven't really watched either shows in a long time. So, over them.
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PostSubject: Re: Reality Steve is being sued   December 7th 2011, 6:29 pm

Reality Steve has a statement

http://realitysteve.com

In case you haven’t been made aware, this story ran this morning on HollywoodReporter.com:

http://www.hollywoodreporter.com/thr-esq/bachelor-producers-lawsuit-reality-steve-270839

Here is my official statement in regards to that story:

I have not been served a lawsuit, nor have I even seen this lawsuit, so I have no specific comment at this time. However, see the below communications from my lawyer, Brad Kizzia of Brown Fox Kizzia & Johnson, to opposing counsel, which state my legal position.

When we received a demand letter from opposing counsel on Nov. 22nd, my legal counsel responded the next day (Nov. 23rd) with my legal position as follows:

“Ms. Burrow:

Please take notice that the undersigned represents Steve Carbone, who has forwarded to us your letter of November 22, 2011, and your email below for response. Please direct all future communications regarding this matter to us.

Note also that Mr. Carbone is a Texas resident and has been for over five years. The California address that you have been using is not a valid address for him. Thus, he did not receive your letter of August 12, 2011.

Without conceding anything as far as the substance of your letters and emails, you and your clients are advised that Mr. Carbone has not received any confidential information from the participants whom you indicate may have received recent emails from him, and he has no intention of posting any information from such participants, as no such information was provided. There has in fact been no interference with your clients’ participant contracts, and your assumption about alleged disclosures of information by any such participants as stated in your letter is incorrect. Thus, there are no valid grounds, or need, for the possible lawsuit threatened in your letter.

If you would like to discuss these matters further, feel free to call or otherwise contact me. Good luck with the ongoing success of the program, and have a happy Thanksgiving.”

When we received a subsequent demand letter from opposing counsel two days ago on Monday the 5th, my legal counsel promptly responded yesterday as follows:

“Ms. Caldwell:

This will acknowledge receipt of your email of December 5 transmitting your letter of the same date. Mr. Carbone stands on the position as stated in my prior email to you of November 22. He did not receive his information about the current Bachelor Series from contestants. He therefore denies that there is a valid factual or legal basis for the threatened suit. For your clients to sue Mr. Carbone would be unnecessary– at best a waste of the parties time and expense and at worst, an illegal slap action attempting to deny Mr. Carbone’s First Amendment rights. Thus, any such suit would be responded to accordingly. We urge you and your clients to reconsider their position.”

I have no further comment at this time.
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Lori
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PostSubject: Re: Reality Steve is being sued   December 7th 2011, 7:21 pm

They don't have a leg to stand on in regards to suing Steve. They're just trying to strong arm him. Glad he has an attorney who seems to know what's what.
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PostSubject: Re: Reality Steve is being sued   December 12th 2011, 9:11 pm

Posted on 12/8

Jesse Csinscak Was Offered $30K to Reveal Reality Steve’s Source — Exclusive Interview!

How far are The Bachelor’s producers willing to go to keep viewers on the edge of their seats? Pretty darn far, according to Jesse Csincsak, winner of The Bachelorette Season 4. Not only did ABC this week file a lawsuit against Reality Steve (who has made a career out of publishing Bachelor and Bachelorette spoilers), but, says Jesse, “Mike Fleiss’ production company, Next Entertainment, came to me just over a year ago and offered me $30K to find out who Reality Steve’s leak was.” (Fleiss is the executive producer of all three shows in the Bachelor franchise.) Jesse continues: “I told them I would look into it and when push came to shove, all I could find out is that it was someone in editing, but could never find a name of a person […] The problem is that they have hundreds of people who see the tapes in editing, so nailing it down would be a tough one.”

Fleiss and ABC are not kidding around about the confidentiality agreements they require contestants to sign, says Jesse, who declares that Mike Fleiss “is known as the steel fist of Hollywood,” over the ironclad nature of the agreements. But, says Jesse, because Bachelor and Bachelorette contestants are not paid, some may be inclined to spill details of the shows before they air — if they are offered a nice payment.

But let’s get down to the crux of the matter, to that topic that all Bachelor shows are about – love! Is it worth signing the contract for a chance at finding a mate? Says Jesse, “You’re better off buying a Power Ball ticket than signing that contract. At least you have the chance at getting something in return!” Ouch! (For the record, Jesse was chosen by DeAnna Pappas on The Bachelorette, Season 4, but they broke up four months later.)

So Jesse is on Reality Steve’s side then? Not so fast. “I think Reality Steve [Steve Carbone] should stick to his day job and forget about The Bachelor. He knows nothing about the show other than what his leaks tell him.”

Doesn’t sound like Jesse is happy with either side in this particular lawsuit. So what does he hope for an outcome? “I hope [Fleiss] loses the suit,” says Jesse, “just to prove that maybe if he paid the contestants, then they wouldn’t take money after the show!” And maybe there would be more happily-ever-afters and fewer breakups – and lawsuits?

ABC declined to comment on this story.

http://www.wetpaint.com/the-bachelorette/articles/jesse-csinscak-was-offered-30k-to-reveal-reality-steves-source--exclusive-interview



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PostSubject: Re: Reality Steve is being sued   December 12th 2011, 9:12 pm

Posted today 12/12

Reality Steve on the ABC Lawsuit and Jesse Csincsack’s Claim He Was Paid to Uncover His Source — Exclusive!

So much shadowy intrigue surrounding such a bright show…

Last week, in an exclusive interview with Wetpaint Entertainment, Jesse Csincsak, Season 4 winner of The Bachelorette, alleged that he was approached by the producers of The Bachelor to help them find the source of Reality Steve (AKA, Steve Carbone)’s many spoilers about the show and its sister productions, The Bachelorette and Bachelor Pad. In the interview, Jesse took no prisoners, making some pretty harsh comments about both the producers and Reality Steve, who has been sued by ABC over his activities. Though ABC declined to comment on Jesse’s story, today Reality Steve responded exclusively to Wetpaint Entertainment:

First off, Reality Steve says he’s not so sure about that dollar figure. “ I think Jesse is exaggerating the $30k he claims he was offered,” says Reality Steve. However, he adds, “this is not the first I've heard of [the producers] asking former contestants to try and find out who's giving me info.”

As for Jesse’s speculation that an unnamed editor on The Bachelor was his source, Reality Steve says no way. That “couldn’t be more wrong,” he tells us.

Reality Steve says he is confused by ABC’s lawsuit: “Why are they wasting money going after me,” he asks, “when what I do obviously does no harm to the show, but instead, only draws more interest?”

ABC clearly disagrees, but that’s all Reality Steve would say for now: “Fairly soon, I will address the allegations against me and the truth will be out there. Until then, it's business as usual at RealitySteve.com.”

The plot, like gravy, is thickening!

http://www.wetpaint.com/the-bachelorette/articles/reality-steve-on-the-abc-lawsuit-and-jesse-csincsacks-claim-he-was-paid-to-uncover-his-source--exclusive?utm_source=dlvr.it&utm_medium=twitter
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PostSubject: Re: Reality Steve is being sued   June 5th 2012, 5:20 pm

RS's blog is up for the week. Here's a portion of it that pertains to the law suit.

The biggest news of the week came yesterday morning from my lawyers as they informed me the Plaintiffs had signed off on an Executed Settlement Agreement, and that the lawsuit had been dismissed in Federal Court. The Plaintiffs chose to make a statement to the media yesterday that was pretty predictable. You can read that here http://www.hollywoodreporter.com/thr-esq/bachelor-settle-lawsuit-spoiler-reality-steve-332824

Interesting they chose to focus on that part of the lawsuit in their statement. So vague. I know you all are waiting to hear my thoughts regarding everything, but give me another day. It all came down yesterday, and I’ve been working on the column all last night and this morning. I will say that I am allowed to talk about the lawsuit in any way that I want. It says specifically in the settlement agreement that there is nothing restricting me from publicly disclosing or commenting upon the details of the agreement. So I will say what I feel is necessary, I just need a day to go over some things. Honestly, there’s really only one major point of this agreement that people need to know, but I know you’ll have a ton of questions afterwards. Some I may feel like answering, and some I may not. I’m just glad this thing is behind me now and I don’t feel I have to talk about every single detail about this lawsuit. It’s over, I’m very happy with the agreement I signed, I don’t owe the plaintiffs any money, and RealitySteve.com isn’t going anywhere. More to come tomorrow.

The rest of his blog is here - http://realitysteve.com/2012/06/05/the-bachelorette-emily-maynard-spoilers-reality-steve-lawsuit/
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