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A woman who went on Dating Naked has filed a $10 million lawsuit after VH1 apparently showed her too naked.
New York model Jessie Nizewitz, 28, says the headline-making freshman reality series (trailer) flashed her crotch during one segment where she playfully wrestles with a date on the beach. Viewers noticed the unexpected reveal despite it being a very brief shot, and Nizewitz says she’s been humiliated on social media. Producers had allegedly assured Nizewitz that her genitals would be fully blurred during the episode. (Dating Naked typically shows bare buttocks, but breasts and genitals are heavily blurred.)
“I have no problem going to a beach in a bikini or people seeing me on TV in a bikini,” Nizewitz said in a statement released to EW by her attorney, Matthew J. Blit. “Although I went on this show knowing that I would be nude while taping it I was told that my private parts would be blurred for TV. If you watch an episode, you will see that the blur actually makes it less revealing than a bikini would. Obviously, I did not expect the world to see my private parts, this is not what I anticipated or what any other contestants on the show anticipated.”
Nizewitz is suing VH1 operator Viacom and two production companies, none of which had comment. The suit filed late Wednesday claims uncensored images of Nizewitz were passed around Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, and Tumblr after airing on VH1. “Plaintiff… was shocked, horrified and outraged to observe this intrusion into her privacy for all to see,” reads the suit. “Immediately Plaintiff became subject to ridicule by those watching. … Plaintiff has suffered and continues to suffer extreme emotional distress, mental anguish, humiliation and embarrassment. … Defendants knew or reasonably should have known that broadcasting an individual’s vagina and anus on national cable television would cause substantial and severe emotional distress.”
Adding insult to alleged injury, Nizewitz also noted in a New York Post interview that a man she was dating never called her again after the show aired.
Dating Naked is part of the current wave of nude reality shows led by Discovery’s Naked and Afraid. Though the summer dating series has been slammed by a parents group for putting semi-nudity on basic cable, the show has an impressive match-making success rate—six couples who have met on the show have stayed together, VH1 claims, and one of those couples is getting married.
While the show has generated plenty of online buzz since it premiered last month, viewership remains modest—averaging about 800,000 viewers per first-run episode.
Ariana Bacle contributed to this report.