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Thread: EM Sued Over Woman's Suicide

  1. #1
    For Your Entertainment lobeck's Avatar
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    EM Sued Over Woman's Suicide

    LOS ANGELES, California (Reuters) -- A Texas woman has sued ABC's popular reality show "Extreme Makeover" for more than $1 million claiming among other things that an abrupt cancellation of her appearance on the program led to her sister's death.

    Deleese Williams of Conroe, Texas, claims she came to Los Angeles to be a contestant on the show after undergoing a series of medical exams to determine if her crooked teeth and droopy eyes could be fixed and her small breasts enhanced, according the suit filed in Los Angeles Superior Court.

    The suit starts with the blunt description: "Deleese Williams is considered ugly" and says one doctor promised her "a Hollywood smile like Cindy Crawford."

    To prepare for the show, the producers sent a crew to Texas in January 2004 to interview Williams and her family.

    The suit claims the "Extreme Makeover" crew manipulated Williams' sister, Kellie, into making cruel statements about Williams' looks.

    The night before Williams was to begin her makeover, the show's producers told her it would take too long for work on her jaw to heal. They canceled her appearance and sent Williams home where Kellie, distraught over what she had said about her sister, eventually killed herself, according to the suit.

    "Sometimes Deleese blames herself for Kellie's death," the suit said.

    An ABC spokeswoman was not immediately available to comment.

    This isn't the first time a TV show has been linked to a death. In 1995, the "Jenny Jones Show" syndicated talk program became the center of controversy after one guest murdered another who revealed his homosexual "secret crush" on TV.

  2. #2
    FORT Fogey
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    Apr 2004
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    In my opinion, not only is Deleese Williams ugly but she's also a litigious piece of crap.

    I absolutely hate when people fail to take responsibility for their actions or, in this case, fail to place responsibility where it squarely belongs.

    ABC didn't kill Deleese Williams's sister -- Deleese Williams's sister did.

  3. #3
    FORT Fogey
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    I think this is just ridiculous.

  4. #4
    Picture Perfect SnowflakeGirl's Avatar
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    I am in complete agreement with you both. I just don't see how ABC or EM is at all responsible for the death of this woman's sister. The sister had to have been severely troubled with other problems in order to do such a thing. It's actually quite sick that Deleese Williams would try to profit from her own sister's death in such a manner.
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  5. #5
    Read The Clue Bearcata's Avatar
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    Apr 2004
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    It always amazes me the gall some people have.

  6. #6
    I see what you did there Mah Jongg Solitaire Champion Maveno's Avatar
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    Aug 2003
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    So if her sister didn't commit suicide and she DID get the makeover..... they (Deleese & sis) would have been fine with the "manipulation from the producers to have her make cruel statements about her sister's looks"?

    Did the sister commit suicide because the show was canceled, or because she said hateful things about her sister?

    Oh, and I like how they throw in the paragraph at the bottom of the article about the Jenny Jone's debacle. It has absolutely NO relevance to the topic at hand...except maybe that this is going to start being a 'trend'. ? Or that reality contestants are treading on some pretty precarious killing fields by participating in anything 'reality'.

    Here is another article that I read earlier this morning.

    ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
    Suit accuses reality show 'Extreme Makeover' of fraud


    LOS ANGELES (AP) Deleese Williams believed her life would finally take a turn for the better when producers of ABC's reality show "Extreme Makeover" promised plastic surgery that would give her a "Cinderella-like" transformation.

    Instead, Williams says, the producers ruined her life by building up her dreams, making her recall the most painful parts of her life and then axing her from the show the night before she was to go under the knife.

    The show's producers subjected her to needless humiliation and drove her sister to suicide, according to a lawsuit she filed Sept. 9 in Los Angeles Superior Court. Williams, 30, of Conroe, Texas, is suing the network and its parent, The Walt Disney Co., for breach of contract, willful infliction of emotional distress and negligence. She is asking for unspecified damages.

    Williams alleges that her sister, Kellie McGee, committed suicide over the guilt she felt after the show's producers goaded her into insulting Williams' appearance.

    "The most tragic part is that Deleese is now too ashamed to even go out in public," her Houston-based attorney, Wesley Cordova, said Tuesday.

    According to the suit, McGee, suffered from bipolar disorder, but Cordova said the show drove her to kill herself.

    ABC issued a statement Tuesday, saying all participants on the show know in advance their makeover may not happen.

    "The ABC Television Network wishes to express its sincere condolences to Deleese Williams and her family for the loss of Kellie McGee," the company said in its statement.

    "In regards to 'Extreme Makeover,' all participants are made aware that if doctors or producers have any concerns about a procedure, the makeover will not go forward. ... The producers endeavor to handle each potential makeover participant with the utmost care."

    After a dental surgeon said he would have to break and reset her jaw for a successful "makeover," Williams said in her suit, producers told her they were dropping her because the recovery time wouldn't fit into their schedule. She got the news just hours before the surgery was to take place, according to the suit.

    Williams' case began in December 2003 when she applied to "Extreme Makeover" and was selected to meet with producers in Los Angeles.

    There, Williams was videotaped recounting the ridicule she suffered as a child and her years in an abusive marriage to an ex-husband. Her current husband and sisters were also interviewed and encouraged to make disparaging comments about her looks, the lawsuit says.

    She also met with a psychologist and numerous doctors who decided she needed "eye lift, ears pulled back, chin implant and breast implants," according to the suit.

    "She knew that they could drop her at anytime, but she didn't believe they would," Cordova said.

    Williams said she returned to Texas devastated. Four months later, her sister killed herself.

    Last month, five orphaned siblings who appeared on "Extreme Makeover: Home Edition" also sued ABC, accusing the network of fraud and breach of contract. The siblings said the family that took them in after their parents died later drove them out of the nine-bedroom mansion that was built for them. ABC and the family have declined to comment on that suit.
    ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

    I do not believe she will prevail in this lawsuit.
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  7. #7
    The Watcher
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    Sep 2004
    So many CRAP suits!

    No wonder there are so many lawyer jokes....

  8. #8
    FORT Fogey just1paul's Avatar
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    I knew I should have become a lawyer
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  9. #9
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    Last month, five orphaned siblings who appeared on "Extreme Makeover: Home Edition" also sued ABC, accusing the network of fraud and breach of contract. The siblings said the family that took them in after their parents died later drove them out of the nine-bedroom mansion that was built for them. ABC and the family have declined to comment on that suit.
    I haven't heard this story, but I would like to know how they figure the family supposedly driving them out of that house is ABC's fault.

  10. #10
    I'm an attorney. I do civil defense work, basically battling the plaintiffs' bar. Anyways, I cannot believe the surviving sister even has standing to sue for her sister's death. I never heard of a loss of consortium claim for an adult sibling. I suppose the dead sister's estate could sue EM for the death, although when you commit suicide its kinda hard to blame someone else. I don't see how any of this has any merit.

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