A teen beauty queen who was featured on ABC's 'Wife Swap' two years ago is suing the network for $100 million, charging they framed scenes to "maximize her public embarrassment" by making her look like a spoiled brat. In court papers obtained by the NY Daily News, Alicia Guastaferro, 18, claims she has received death threats and harbors suicidal tendencies since the show, in which she offered, "I do feel sorry for people that are not gorgeous people."
The episode focused heavily on Guastaferro, who is described as the "princess of pageantry" and is given presents every day by her parents, who keep a Christmas tree up all year. 'Wife Swap' centers on mothers from different walks of life switching places, but the lawsuit claims ABC spent too much time on the demanding teen and not the intended subject of the show: the wife, Karen.
Guastaferro says that since the airing she has had to transfer schools in upstate New York and has gone from the honor roll to being a special education student. It probably didn't help that during the show, Mrs. Guastaferro freely admitted -- and demonstrated -- how she does her daughter's homework. "She doesn't have time!"
"I feel the way to Alicia's happiness is, give her everything she wants. Don't give her any rules. Why upset her?" Karen boasted. Another motive for the lawsuit may be the financial woes of the family.
Last November, Ralph and Karen Guastaferro pleaded guilty to felony money laundering charges stemming from a Canadian telemarketing scheme. Karen is also in hot water for not declaring wages at the family's glass-tinting business. According to a Buffalo News report, she faces up to 16 months in jail, while he could spend up to 57 months behind bars.