‘Love Is Blind’ Producers Sued Over Sexual Assault Of Contestant; “Likely Captured On Film,” Suit Says

TV

Love Is Blind contestant Tran Dang has hit production companies Kinetic Content and Delirium TV with a sexual assault, false imprisonment and negligence lawsuit, claims the companies and the show’s creator are pushing back against.

Claiming she was “aggressively recruited” to appear on the hit Netflix reality series and “intentionally sequestered for two weeks” in the show’s pods by producers, Dang’s complaint alleges she was attacked by her then on-screen fiancé Thomas Smith on May 3, 2022 while in Mexico shooting Love Is Blind’s fifth season. The filing from Houston law firm Wallace & Allen LLP details that “due to Delirium TV and Kinetic Content’s 24-hour surveillance of Plaintiff and Defendant Smith, most if not all of these traumatic acts were filmed by the production crew and within their knowledge.” 

“Delirium TV and Kinetic Content producers made attempts to mask Plaintiff’s sexual assault by characterizing it as a lack of attraction on part of the Plaintiff,” according to the complaint, which seeks a jury trial.

Read Dang’s filing against the Love Is Blind producers and Smith.

The lawsuit filed in Harris County District Court filed damningly adds that Dang was “was baffled that no one had intervened to stop the harassment.” Upon reaching out to a Love Is Blind assistant producer, Dang adds the crew member left her with the impression “that she was at fault for what had happened with Thomas Smith by not communicating effectively or somehow not taking the ‘relationship’ seriously.”

Eventually leaving Love Is Blind during filming, Dang is seeking “significant damages due to Defendants’ criminal, tortious, and outrageous conduct.” Neither Dang nor Smith, who is named as a defendant, are featured in Love Is Blind‘s fifth season, which launched September 22 on Netflix.

Created by Kinetic CEO Chris Coelen, reality series puts singles looking for love together and engaged, all before actually meeting in person. 

On Friday, Kinetic Content and Delirium TV rejected Dang’s assertions of what went down on Love Is Blind Season 5.

“We support and stand with victims of sexual assault, but Ms. Dang’s claims against the producers are meritless,” the companies said in a joint statement.

“We document the independent choices of adults who volunteer to participate in a social experiment,’ they added. “Their journey is not scripted, nor is it filmed around the clock. We have no knowledge or control over what occurs in private living spaces when not filming, and participants may choose to end their journey at any time.

“We take any and all concerns of our participants seriously and prioritize their well-being. Obviously, we cannot address undisclosed concerns, and throughout the time that Ms. Dang was involved in the production of Love is Blind, she never informed the producers of any alleged wrongdoing of any kind. Nor did she choose to end her participation in the experiment. Instead, Ms. Dang continued in the experiment for weeks after the time her lawyers now claim an incident occurred. We deny and will vigorously defend the allegations against us.”

Coelen also directly denied that the assault had occurred.

“She did not make any kind of claim of assault of any kind,” the former UTA agent said of Dang in an interview today. “We would not continue filming with someone who was expressing that an incident of that sort had happened.” 

In an environment where the behind-the-scenes reality of unscripted TV is increasingly in the spotlight, Dang’s main lawyer Ben Allen rejected the stance from Kinetic Content, Delirium TV and Coelen.

“The producers are throwing money at the problem by spending an inordinate amount of money on losing legal positions that do nothing but delay the parties from having their day in court,” the Lone Star state attorney said of his client’s case, first filed in August. “They lost on three distinct legal issues before the trial court and then filed three separate appeals to multiply the proceedings we have to wade through before finally trying this case.”

“But we are confident that Ms. Dang’s position will be vindicated once we get there and are committed to seeing it through all of the way,” he added. “We have to hold the show producers accountable. We have an ethical duty to our client to do so, but also feel a moral obligation to the next generation of reality show participants.”

Dang’s lawsuit and the response from Coelen were first reported by People.

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