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Article

'Big Brother' executive producer address Jessie's roughhousing with Lydia, Natalie

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Has Jessie’s roughhousing with Lydia and Natalie gone too far on Big Brother 11? That’s what some fans think after watching the late-night feeds. Viewers have peppered BB message boards (including those on EW.com) with complaints that Jessie crossed a line during recent wrestling matches with the two young women, especially since a medic was called to check up on the diminutive Natalie. Executive Producer Allison Grodner told EW exclusively that while she takes the safety of the houseguests seriously, Jessie and the women “engage in (the roughhousing) consensually” and any action he made toward the woman “was not intentionally malicious or abusive.”

“We’re monitoring it,” said Grodner. “We’ve talked to Natalie and Lydia and Jessie about it in the diary room. We’re not looking to hide anything. Everyone who needed to be warned has been warned.”

Grodner confirmed that a medic looked at Natalie after Jessie pushed her in the leg.  He did so, Grodner explained, after Natalie kicked him in the groin.  “He’s a bigger guy,” says Grodner. “She was like, ‘ow!’  But she never came into the diary room asking for help. Safety is our utmost concern, so we wanted to make sure nothing was wrong so we called her into the diary room. She said it was nothing but we let the medic look at it. We have a medic here 24/7.”

Though Natalie is constantly by Jessie’s side – Grodner calls them Scooby Doo and Scrappy Doo – the strangest dynamic occurs between him and Lydia. “It’s this emotional push me, pull you,” concedes Grodner. “It’s wrestling with sexual overtones. People who subscribe to the video streams know they’ve covered many bases with each other. She’s drawn to him yet she pushes him away so he pushes her away. It’s this odd kind of high school relationship. No one is really saying what they are feeling.”