According to Cosmopolitan, longtime Bachelor insider Reality Steve has been sent a cease and desist letter from NZK Productions in hopes of stopping him from sharing any previously unreleased information about the show. In a blog post, Reality Steve (real name, Stephen Carbone) confirmed that he had received the letter the day after teasing upcoming spoilers in a tweet that read, "Making a list and checking it twice. Just making sure I have the ending correct before posting it. It’s coming...."
Carbone claims, though, that any of his spoilers are harmless and not worth the trouble of a lawsuit. "For years I have stood behind the fact that all I really do is spoil and make fun of a silly reality show which itself is very easy to make fun of," he wrote, noting that he's been getting tips from Bach sources since 2009.
"This isn’t CIA level shit," he continued. "This isn’t insider trading. What I do is on such a small scale in even just the TV world, it’s not really a blip on the radar. If this were the only show on television, yes, it’d probably be a big deal. But it’s not."
However, Carbone does think the lawsuit infringes on his rights as a journalist. "They are being completely unreasonable, bullying me essentially into giving up my sources, and are trying to prevent me from continuing my livelihood," Carbone wrote. "They are infringing on my First Amendment Rights as a reporter and trying to squash my freedom of speech because they don’t like that I’m spoiling their show."
It isn't the first time Carbone has been sued by The Bachelor's production company. According to The Hollywood Report in a story called "Bachelor Spoiler Alert! How Reality Steve Still Gets Away With Ruining the Show," Reality Steve was sued twice in 2012 by the producers of the show. In the settlement for the first case, Carbone agreed that for at least five years, he would "not solicit any information about the show from cast or crew members." (The second case was also settled, but the details remain confidential.) That five-year mark is coming to the end, which could be the reason for the new suit.
On an episode of his podcast titled "Your Final Four Breakdown & They’re Trying to Silence Me," Carbone said that ABC was not involved the lawsuit and has never threatened him with legal action, explaining, "ABC has never been after me."
Carbone has reached out to NZK Productions through his lawyer in hopes of coming to an agreement, but has not heard back yet. In the meantime, he wrote on his blog that he will continue his spoiler-filled coverage of the show. "I refuse to be intimidated by their tactics in this situation," he wrote, "and I will proceed with this season as planned."
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