This likely isn’t the first case of a reality TV show not going as a cast member had envisioned. E!, NBCUniversal and Bright Roads Productions are being sued by a Beverly Hills plastic surgeon who thought that appearing on Second Wives with his current spouse would be a good way to showcase his “happy marriage” and “promote his business.” But that’s not the way it turned out, he claims.
Described in the filing as “one of the most respected and prestigious plastic surgeons in the country,” Michael Obeng says he and his wife Veronika agreed in 2015 to appear on the reality show, under the auspices that Second Wives “was to extensively depict Plaintiff and his professional and personal life.” That’s what he says the producers assured him. But shortly production got under way, “it became clear to Plaintiff that he was seriously mistaken — the Series was intended to ridicule and disparage plaintiff and his profession and was designed to incite personal conflicts between Plaintiff and his wife and specifically to incite their divorce.”
According to the complaint filed today in Los Angeles Superior Court (read it here), “Immediately after Plaintiff discovered the true nature of the series, Plaintiff stopped making appearances for the Series and demanded Defendants not promote, market or otherwise distribute the Series.” Now he wants to keep it from airing at all.
The suit contains a copy of Obeng’s contract with E! and also a Demand for Arbitration. Because the contract spells out the fact that producers reserve to right to edit footage such that it might “make certain misrepresentations” about the couple, Obeng has agreed to abide by terms of an arbitration. But he is seeking an order to stop “Defendants from promoting, marketing, distributing and otherwise exploiting” the show.
Attorney David Beitchman of Beitchman & Zekian P.C. in Encino is representing Obeng in the case.