Reality Stars Declaring War on NBC/Bravo; Alleging Sexual & Mental Health Exploitation


Bravo better buckle up for war as reality stars are calling out the network for various alleged abuses.

TMZ has obtained a letter sent to NBC Universal and Bravo by legal representatives for several reality stars claiming they have been subjected to “grotesque and depraved mistreatment.”

The letter sent by attorneys Bryan Freedman and Mark Geragos claims that current and past cast and crew members of its various reality TV shows have been tormented by the network during their employment.

Bravo Stars From Real Housewives
Bravo Stars From Real Housewives

“As a result, the sordid and dark underbelly of NBC’s widely consumed reality TV universe has remained under wraps for far too long,” the letter reads. “Please be advised that the day of reckoning has arrived.”

The allegations include:

— Deliberate attempts to manufacture mental instability by plying cast members with alcohol while depriving them of food and sleep

— Denying mental health treatment to cast members displaying obvious and alarming signs of mental deterioration

— Exploiting minors for uncompensated and sometimes long-term appearances on NBC reality TV shows

— Distributing and/or condoning the distribution of non-consensual pornography

— Covering up acts of sexual violence

— Refusing to allow cast members the freedom to leave their shows, even under dire circumstances

For instance, the pornography reference mentions the “distribution of revenge porn”; however, no further details have been provided by the attorneys. The attorneys are requesting that NBC obtain internal information concerning several topics including “nonconsensual pornography in connection with cast members … [and] alleged sexual violence perpetrated by or against cast members …”

Bravo TV logo in SVG
Bravo TV logo

As Scandoval broke out back in March, the rumor mill claimed that a video of Raquel Leviss and Tom Sandoval masturbating via FaceTime was being sent around by the Vanderpump Rules cast. The allegation never aired during season ten of the show.

Lawyers also claim that NBC Universal and Bravo have “threatened [cast members] with ruin should they decide to speak out about their mistreatment.”

This letter comes just weeks after former Real Housewives of New York star Bethenny Frankel urged reality stars to unionize and join the the SAG-AFTRA strike.

“Hollywood is on strike. Entertainers are fighting for residuals, and no one will promote anything. Why isn’t reality TV on strike?” Bethenny declared on Instagram.

“I myself have generated millions and millions of dollars in advertising and online impressions being on reality TV and have never made a single residual,” she explained. “So, either I’m missing something or we’re getting screwed too.”

She went on to explain that while reality TV stars are often considered the “losers” of Hollywood they were the one who “provided all of the entertainment” to TV viewers during the yearlong Writers Guild of America strike in 2007.

“It’s complete and total bulls–t,” she added. “It just occurred to me, everyone is talking about actors and we don’t get paid s–t.”

Andy Cohen Bethenny Frankel
Bravo’s Andy Cohen and Bethenny Frankel

Several Bravolebs have backed Bethenny’s urging for reality TV stars to unionize. Vicki Gunvalson, NeNe Leakes, and Lisa Rinna have all back up Bethenny’s game plan.

“Every @Sag/aftra [member] who is on a Bravo show should boycott Bravocon,” the former Real Housewives of Beverly Hills star wrote on her Instagram Stories last week.

“You want them to start to take you seriously and pay you the money you deserve? Then start a reality show union per Bethenny,” she concluded. “Time is now.” 

Vicki, on the other hand, commented on Bethenny’s post, writing, “Totally agree! We should be getting residuals for all the times they have used our footage. I got paid $0 season 1.”

As for NeNe, she shared her thoughts on social media.

Thoughts on this all? Sound off below!

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