Talk about Flipping Out!
Flipping Out stars Jeff Lewis and Gage Edwards are “devastated” over the fact that the surrogate mother of their daughter Monroe is suing Bravo.
In a lawsuit filed Tuesday, surrogate Alexandra Trent claims that she never consented to Bravo filming her giving birth. She also says that Flipping Out producers filmed her vagina without permission and that Jeff and Gage humiliated her by making disgusting comments about her vagina.
According to PEOPLE, Alexandra “is seeking damages for unlawful recording, invasion of privacy and fraud.”
As usual, Bravo is staying tight-lipped about the lawsuit but Jeff spoke out about it to PEOPLE; admitting that the news was a shock to him and Gage.
“This is like a blow to the head. We are completely blindsided by this,” Jeff explained. “We are just devastated. I thought we had a nice relationship, a friendship. We treated her like an extended member of the family. So you can imagine this is pretty stunning.”
“And this is where I’m so upset. Because, on one hand, I don’t want to tarnish this most amazing experience of my life,” Jeff continued. “We couldn’t be more grateful to this woman for birthing our child. We are indebted to her… we are so completely grateful to her because, without her, we wouldn’t have Monroe. But on the other hand, these are fabricated claims and are completely bogus and without merit. This smells to me like a financial shakedown.”
Before speaking out to PEOPLE Jeff joked about the news on Instagram telling fans, “I guess we won’t be using her again.”
Jeff and Gage’s surrogate Alexandra appeared on multiple episodes of their show Flipping Out after they hired her to carry their baby, Monroe.
During season 10, the Flipping Out cameras filmed the entire birth of Monroe and even captured Jeff and Gage’s first moments with their daughter.
In a confessional interview that was filmed after the birth and “spliced into the episode,” Jeff makes an “off-color joke about Trent,” saying “If I was a surrogate, and I had known there was going to be an audience, I probably would have waxed. And that was the shocking part for Gage. I don’t think Gage had ever seen a vagina, let alone one that big.”
Said comment and the filming of the birth “deeply damaged Trent” and “caused incredible anguish, self-loathing, contempt, and depression,” legal documents reveal.
While Jeff didn’t remember making the crass joke he did recognize his “poor attempt at humor” and “an off-color joke” when the episode aired.
At the time the episode aired, Trent reached out the surrogacy attorney and revealed that she was upset over what Jeff had said, which prompted Jeff to send flowers and an apology letter.
“I thought all was good,” Jeff revealed, adding that he and Gage stayed in touch with Trent well after the episode aired. “We spoke to her for months and months! She sent gifts. We were reaching out and giving her updates and pictures. I’m telling you, this was an amazing experience. We were friends. She was a part of our family. We bought her a beautiful push gift. That’s what’s so insane to me. I thought this was over.”
In the lawsuit, Trent claims she never had any interest in being on Jeff and Gage’s show and says she had no idea she would be on a reality show when she agreed to be the Flipping Out couple’s surrogate. In fact, Trent says she only agreed to allow her ultrasounds to be filmed to help promote the option of using a surrogate but says she drew the line at filming the birth.
Her suit further alleges that the Flipping Out cameras secretly filmed behind a curtain and that even the doctors were unaware cameras were rolling during.
Weeks after Monroe’s birth aired on Bravo, Trent was informed by a business associate that she and her blurred-out vagina were on TV. Trent says she was “humiliated and distraught” and has been unable to get Bravo to remove the clips from their site. Adding, that due to “embarrassment” she also had to cancel another surrogacy contract.
However, Jeff shuts down claims that Trent didn’t know she was being filmed by the Flipping Out cameras.
“That, to me, is insanity, because we were upfront and honest from the beginning to the point where her appearance release was a part of the surrogacy agreement because the whole idea was to document this journey,” Jeff said. “It was part of her agreement, it was all tied in. So how do you now say that you didn’t know you were being filmed? It’s a broad appearance release!”
“And not only did she sign an appearance release as part of our surrogacy contract, I believe she signed it as a separate appearance release with the production company. And she signed a nondisclosure agreement, which she now violated. So what’s the point of legal agreements if you’re just going to disregard them all?”
He added: “Flipping Out is not a hidden camera show. There were moments where there were two, three, four cameras. Everybody was mic-ed. There was a boom, there was a producer. There were production assistants. I remember filming at lunch with her family, and that was a big crew there that day. So how do you now say you didn’t know you were being filmed? It’s unbelievable.”
As for baby number 2, Jeff says he and Gage will have to look elsewhere and have no plans to use Trent as a surrogate ever again.
“Shame on her for mudding such a beautiful experience,” Lewis said. “I personally believe she will have to answer to God one day for what she’s done. And if I were her, I’d start drafting my apology now.”
Thoughts on this ordeal? Are you shocked Jeff and Gage’s surrogate is suing them and Bravo? Do you think the surrogate didn’t know she would be filmed for the show? Sound off below!
Follow the AllAboutTRH Podcast on iTunes & Soundcloud – Remember to Rate, Comment & Subscribe!