A former Love Is Blind contestant has sued the production companies behind the show for alleged sexual assault and false imprisonment.
Tran Dang — who was a contestant on Season Five but was not featured in the final cut — is reportedly suing production companies Delirium TV and Kinetic Content for an alleged incident that occurred in 2022, as per TMZ.
According to the publication, Dang claimed she was sexually assaulted during filming in Mexico by fellow Love Is Blind contestant and ex-fiancé Thomas Smith. It’s alleged that Smith “incessantly groped” Dang, “exposed her to his naked body”, and “forcibly repeatedly made sexual contact” with her without her consent.
The Season Five contestant said she brought her concerns to producers but alleged they were “swept aside”.
Dang is also reportedly suing the production companies for false imprisonment. Per TMZ, Dang alleged she was subjected to 24/7 surveillance that left her “unable to exercise her will in going anywhere she was lawfully allowed to go.”
She also believes that the alleged incidents were filmed due to the around-the-clock surveillance.
Dang is seeking $1 million in damages and claimed that filming Love Is Blind caused her to suffer from extreme emotional distress, pain and mental anguish.
As the lawsuit and the alleged complaints surface, Chris Coelen, the brain behind Love Is Blind, told PEOPLE that he supports individuals who have come forward about sexual assault. However, he claimed the alleged incidents that happened to Dang were not brought to the producers’ attention.
“If anybody ever came to us and said they felt unsafe in any way, we would immediately remove them from the experiment and talk to them and try to get to the bottom of it,” he told the publication.
“Unfortunately, in this case, that kind of sentiment was never addressed to us in any way, nor was any alleged wrongdoing brought to our attention ever.”
Coelen also slammed Dang’s false imprisonment allegations and labelled them as “preposterous”.
In a joint statement to Variety, Kinetic Content and Delirium TV denied Dang’s allegation and described her claims as “meritless”.
“We take any and all concerns of our participants seriously and prioritize their well-being. Obviously, we cannot address undisclosed concerns, and throughout the time that Ms. Dang was involved in the production of Love is Blind, she never informed the producers of any alleged wrongdoing of any kind. Nor did she choose to end her participation in the experiment,” the companies wrote.
“Instead, Ms. Dang continued in the experiment for weeks after the time her lawyers now claim an incident occurred. We deny and will vigorously defend the allegations against us.”
In August, Season Two Love is Blind contestant Nick Thompson slammed his experience on the show, claiming he was exploited and was treated “like a prisoner” while filming the reality TV series.
“You literally are held captive like a prisoner and there is absolutely no reason that you shouldn’t be considered an employee when you’re technically under the control of your employer for 24 hours a day,” he told Daily Mail.
According to TMZ, Dang first filed a lawsuit in August 2022 and it’s been in mediation since February. Both Dang and Smith have not been featured in the final edit of Love Is Blind Season Five, which is the show’s most recent season.
Image source: Netflix / Love Is Blind