MTV’s hit reality competition, “The Real World/Road Rules Challenge” may seem like little more than a booze-fueled party, but behind the scenes, things are not all fun and games.
Tonya Cooley, a former member of the “Real World: Chicago” cast, claims that she was sexually assaulted by two of her castmates on “The Real World/Road Rules Challenge: The Ruins.” TMZ reports that Cooley has filed a lawsuit for unspecified damages against MTV, Bunim/Murray Productions, who produce the reality show, cast members Evan Starkman, Kenneth Santucci, as well as other involved parties.
In her suit, Cooley claims that while she was passed out, Starkman and Santucci “took another male participant’s toothbrush and rubbed the toothbrush around plaintiff’s genitals, including rubbing her labia and inserting the toothbrush into plaintiff’s vagina.” Cooley reports that the incident was caught on film, and that producers even helped to cover up the rape, but never mentioned the assault to the victim.
Cooley, who was asked to leave the show after slapping one of her costars, alleges that her fellow cast members were incited to “inappropriately touch female cast members’ bodies, including in intimate areas,” and that other show participants reported other instances of sexual assault to the show’s producers, but their claims were never met with action.
This is not the first time “Real World” producers have been sued – in 2010, a guest at the “Real World: D.C.” house claimed that she signed a waiver to appear on camera when she was too intoxicated to make decisions and was later defamed by cast members.