Three women who allege they were repeatedly promised ‘life-changing’ experiences by Relativity Media LLC as part of a short-lived reality show say the bankrupt Hollywood studio’s empty pockets should not let it off the hook for its empty promises.
In a lawsuit filed last month in Texas, three Houston-area sex workers say Relativity never delivered on housing, health care, legal services and other assistance promised for their participation in the controversial A&E reality series “8 Minutes.”
And in a complaint filed Sunday with the U.S. Bankruptcy Court in Manhattan, the three women, who want their case heard by a jury, asked a bankruptcy judge not to allow Relativity to escape their lawsuit as part of its ongoing chapter 11 case. Filing for bankruptcy temporarily freezes all litigation and allows for some types of lawsuits to be discharged, though exceptions are made when the suit involves certain kinds of fraud.
A spokesman for Relativity declined to comment Monday.
Producers for “8 Minutes,” which aired earlier this year before being canceled amid widespread criticism, allegedly offered the women a way out of the sex trade and a shot at a better life. The purpose of the show was to help “women in the life,” referring to women involved in sex work, and “to provide the necessary support if the women would like to leave,” court papers say.
But after filming interviews with the women, Relativity never delivered on the help it promised, according to the suit. The complaint also claims Relativity assured the women their faces would be concealed during the nationally broadcast series and then failed to do so.