The Bachelor 16 - Ben

My Statement Regarding Today’s News…

In case you haven’t been made aware, this story ran this morning on HollywoodReporter.com:

http://www.hollywoodreporter.com/thr-esq/bachelor-producers-lawsuit-reality-steve-270839

Here is my official statement in regards to that story:

I have not been served a lawsuit, nor have I even seen this lawsuit, so I have no specific comment at this time. However, see the below communications from my lawyer, Brad Kizzia of Brown Fox Kizzia & Johnson, to opposing counsel, which state my legal position.

When we received a demand letter from opposing counsel on Nov. 22nd, my legal counsel responded the next day (Nov. 23rd) with my legal position as follows:

“Ms. Burrow:

Please take notice that the undersigned represents Steve Carbone, who has forwarded to us your letter of November 22, 2011, and your email below for response. Please direct all future communications regarding this matter to us.

Note also that Mr. Carbone is a Texas resident and has been for over five years. The California address that you have been using is not a valid address for him. Thus, he did not receive your letter of August 12, 2011.

Without conceding anything as far as the substance of your letters and emails, you and your clients are advised that Mr. Carbone has not received any confidential information from the participants whom you indicate may have received recent emails from him, and he has no intention of posting any information from such participants, as no such information was provided. There has in fact been no interference with your clients’ participant contracts, and your assumption about alleged disclosures of information by any such participants as stated in your letter is incorrect. Thus, there are no valid grounds, or need, for the possible lawsuit threatened in your letter.

If you would like to discuss these matters further, feel free to call or otherwise contact me. Good luck with the ongoing success of the program, and have a happy Thanksgiving.”

When we received a subsequent demand letter from opposing counsel two days ago on Monday the 5th, my legal counsel promptly responded yesterday as follows:

“Ms. Caldwell:

This will acknowledge receipt of your email of December 5 transmitting your letter of the same date. Mr. Carbone stands on the position as stated in my prior email to you of November 22. He did not receive his information about the current Bachelor Series from contestants. He therefore denies that there is a valid factual or legal basis for the threatened suit. For your clients to sue Mr. Carbone would be unnecessary– at best a waste of the parties time and expense and at worst, an illegal slap action attempting to deny Mr. Carbone’s First Amendment rights. Thus, any such suit would be responded to accordingly. We urge you and your clients to reconsider their position.”

I have no further comment at this time.

34 Comments

34 Comments

  1. luv it

    December 7, 2011 at 4:51 PM

    F*ck em your the only reason I watch/fast forward thru this train wreck!!! Good luck and hurry up and spoil their season

  2. dantheman5450

    December 7, 2011 at 4:56 PM

    Dont care what happens, I think you ROCK!! I agree , this show is a train wreck lol. Keep on ROCKING STEVE!!

  3. CaliGirl

    December 7, 2011 at 5:07 PM

    This irritates the hell out of me, Steve. This is all just an attention-seeking ploy by Fleiss and his puppets. I guarantee their viewership would drop significantly if they had the legal rights to force you to stop posting spoilers. This show is a snoozefest without your site and I have no interest in watching it without your columns and spoilers.
    It makes no sense, eitther. If they were going to sue someone shouldnt’t it be the person/people leaking you this confidential information? Morons.

  4. CaliGirl

    December 7, 2011 at 5:08 PM

    oops, *shouldn’t

  5. mommyof2

    December 7, 2011 at 5:24 PM

    Don’t let their threats scare you off, Steve. I think you should go ahead and spoil the season before they hire some hacker to take down your site, since their legal action will fail as it has no bounds. You’re not the one with the confidentiality contract, so they’d have more luck suing whoever is leaking the info., although they obviously don’t know who that is or they’d sue them. It looks to me like they tried to set you up by having a contestant contact you with info., and they can’t sue their own little minion they got to do their dirty work.

  6. Athena

    December 7, 2011 at 6:42 PM

    Steve, this is a good time to have an attorney, though I can’t see as how you’re the one at risk since you’re not the one who breached a contract. If there is ANYTHING that will make people stop watching the show, it’s this heavy-handed BS by ABC.

    Keep us posted, as my tv definitely has an “off” button and I’m prepared to use it!

  7. RaRa

    December 7, 2011 at 10:04 PM

    If you haven’t been served with a suit, then is it possible they are not even planning to sue you, but “leaked” this story to the press just for publicity and to try to scare you away from contestants? I’m sure they don’t like all the behind-the-scenes stuff you tell us about, such as the editing, and the fictional story lines developed by the producers, and other interesting tidbits they don’t want us to know. I doubt the spoilers even bother them as much as some of the other stuff. The spoilers only increase interest in the show.

  8. RaRa

    December 7, 2011 at 10:07 PM

    Have you been advised by counsel not to post the text of the demand letters? I noticed you didn’t specify what exactly they were “demanding”.

  9. lmbutler

    December 8, 2011 at 7:32 AM

    It’s a matter of choice. If people don’t want to know what happens ahead of time then they don’t need to read about it. For me, I wouldn’t watch at all if I didn’t read the spoilers ahead of time. It makes the show more interesting.

  10. karynr

    December 8, 2011 at 7:44 AM

    This makes me want to only keep up with The Bachelor through Steve, and not even turn on ABC. They really have to go after you? How frigging ridiculous.
    I agree with Caligirl. The show would be a snoozefest if I couldn’t, in conjunction, read your site. They should actually thank you for garnering even more interest in the show. Maybe someone did set you up? Be careful, Steve! We want you around for a long time!

  11. karynr

    December 8, 2011 at 8:20 AM

    Hey Mr. Fleiss…are you also going to sue the person who spoiled the F1 on his/her site last week? You should actually be the one paying, as these people infuse some excitement into this tired trainwreck of a show. If I couldn’t jump onto these sites, I probably woudn’t even watch.

  12. canada girl

    December 8, 2011 at 10:21 AM

    I agree that this is all a publicity ploy from Fleiss. You have been posting spoilers for many seasons and so why NOW of all times are they wanting to take action. If they really wanted to stop you then why not do this the first season you gave the spoilers too? I do not know the whole story so this is all just speculation but I would not think that they can sue you as you do not work for the show and you do not get the info from the contestants themselves. They also have not yet caught on to who your source is. From what this looks like to me is that they want to scare you into telling them who your source is as it must be driving them nuts to not know.
    I hope this all works in your favor!!

  13. Fassero

    December 8, 2011 at 10:28 AM

    I’ll assume this played a part in delaying the release of his final four information. None the less, the fact that this was “leaked” to a trade industry publication on the same day that the show officially announced who the girls were indicates to me that this was part-publicity stunt, part-attempt to further try and chill contestants from speaking. Given the nature of the “charges”, that they didn’t even file the suit in Steve’s state of residence, and that the damages sought are something out of Dr. Evil in the Austin Powers movies, there is a lot of “slap” element here. If the matter ever sees the light of day in a civil courtroom, I hope the judge ensures that Steve is compensated for costs. The producers are basically saying that Steve’s “interference” works against the show’s ratings. If it does, damned if I can find any ratings numbers that support this (if anything, they show the opposite since his information became more prominent.) Actually, it would be nice if all those tabloids and sites that sponge his information without attribution helped contribute to any required defense. I’m guessing the sky will fall sooner.

  14. dant83

    December 8, 2011 at 10:32 AM

    I agree with everyone here, if they really knew that a contestant was breaching the confidentiality agreement they’d sue them not you…sooo I think this is a ploy to try to scare whoever the inside source is from giving any further information so that you cannot continue to spoil their seasons. Hope it doesn’t work!

  15. aschneidster

    December 8, 2011 at 10:48 AM

    Whatever you do, don’t let those bastards get you down. That’s exactly what they want. Their panties have been in a twist about you for years and I truly hope that, in the end, that they realize what ridiculous shits they are for attempting to come after you. Stick it to the man Steve!

  16. ashall44

    December 8, 2011 at 10:51 AM

    Screw them Steve! Hope everything works out for you. Keep the info coming :)

  17. LoveGravy

    December 8, 2011 at 10:55 AM

    The fact that they’re seeking a mere $75,000 in damages is in and of itself a joke. If this was a serious threat or they were taking legal action of any kind, they’d be going for millions. Clearly ridiculous. Obviously a desperate attempt to boost ratings. Keep it up Steve. You’re the reason we all tune in. You rock!!!

  18. bachelor

    December 8, 2011 at 11:49 AM

    You have a great blog Steve. Keep the spoilers coming and good luck!

  19. yotothejo

    December 8, 2011 at 11:54 AM

    No worries. If they had anything substantial, you would have been served a TRO (temporary restraining order) by now. Looks like the scare tactics are in abundance. A Cease & Desist is a slap on the wrist & simply another scare tactic. Keep bringing on the goods, Steve!

  20. Sunnyside422

    December 8, 2011 at 1:11 PM

    Reading your spoilers each season is the only reason to watch this show. Love to see it unfold as you indicate with details. Am in your corner and am convinced this is a publicity ploy to re-invent interest in the show as this season with Ben will be beyond boring.

    Keep up the good work, spoil the episodes on as fast a pace as you can! Stick it to them big time!

  21. thedoodleynoodle

    December 8, 2011 at 5:10 PM

    They’re on a fishing expedition. Since they obviously don’t have the facts straight…they’re trying to find their leak…

  22. Dawn

    December 9, 2011 at 9:33 AM

    I stopped watching The Bachelor years ago because it was stupid. After coming across your spoilers, I began watching again. I continue to watch only because of you. I would definitely stop watching again if I had no spoilers. Keep up the great work Steve. We all appreciate everything you do.

  23. Nobody

    December 9, 2011 at 10:51 AM

    Why would Fleiss and / or ABC really give a rats ass what Reality Steve says or does? RS is helping the show, not hurting it. If anything, bad press over a lawsuit could end up hurting the show. People were beginning to see the show was a load of bull sh*t long before RS came along. I just don’t understand why its such a big deal now. RS rarely revealed any damaging production secrets.

    Don’t be an asshole, Fleiss. Drop this nonsense.

  24. smf28

    December 9, 2011 at 3:47 PM

    I’m so sorry. The problem is that they undoubtedly have unlimited money for legal fees and could make life difficult. I love your spoilers and wouldn’t be watching the show without them….good luck!!!!!!

  25. wisewords

    December 9, 2011 at 4:30 PM

    Again, ABC, most of us wouldn’t even bother watching The Bachelor/ette if not for Steve’s spoilers. Take down Steve and you take down this show. Period.

  26. poddington

    December 10, 2011 at 8:42 AM

    this is the stupidest thing I have ever heard of (well almost). Even if you did offer contestants money to spill, so what? You or anyone else for that matter can do that. You have no contract with the show. If someone disclosed show info that is on them. Try getting blood from a turnip though. Most of these kids on the show don’t actually have real jobs and are probably in debt.

  27. classicalisabel

    December 11, 2011 at 6:39 PM

    I think that you are interesting, Steve. I also am starting to think that you are planted by the Bachelor people to stir the pot and create controversy. You clearly are helping ratings by giving a “behind-the-scenes look” of the show, which – if I’m right – is a brilliant and bold marketing/visibility move by Fleiss.

    By them sending a legal “bully” letter and by you posting it on your blog, clearly this is a tactic to get people to start thinking and talking about the show.

    We may never know the truth, but at the very least, if you are not a plant, this I know for sure: Bachelor does not want you to go away. Maybe you happened along at the right time and they decided (rightfully so) that you are a social media PR machine for them. They were right, and they should be paying you beaucoup bucks for your work.

  28. karri

    December 12, 2011 at 7:19 AM

    I think its funny that they are sending this out 3 weeks before the show starts, when you already have spoilers (well at least the top 4) posted. They are basically providing a little free advertising for your site for viewers that didn’t know about it. They want people to go to your site because they know reading your spoilers and weekly blogs keeps some of the viewers around (like me).

    If they really wanted to take you down, they would have done it right after Ashley’s season, before Ben’s season started filming, so that you would not be able to spoil anything. Instead they waited until previews for Ben’s season started airing and they were getting people back into Bachlor mode. Or they could have waited until Ben’s season was over to keep from drawing attention to your site during Ben’s season.

    I watched the first two/three season and then never watched it again until Jake’s season when I stumbled upon your site right before it started. It was the only reason I watched and have continued watching Jake, Ali, Brad and Ashley’s seasons.

  29. novilise

    December 12, 2011 at 7:58 PM

    I’ve watched this show on and off for years, but I became much more interested in it when you started doing spoilers.

    I think I’d go back to only sporadically watching it if there wasn’t a juicy blog of comments and spoilers to read before and after the program.

    If someone’s talking about it …it must be good. If not……it fizzles away.

  30. Fassero

    December 13, 2011 at 8:21 AM

    It’s funny. I’m just reading Jesse The Angry Dwarf’s latest attempt to turn this into some desperately needed publicity for himself. Here’s a guy with low Twitter followers, a failed streaming internet show moved from Evel Dick’s site to some unknown startup busting Steve’s ass about not knowing anything about The Bachelor other than the spoilers (well…..DUH! He has no interest in the personal lives as has been established enough times) . Oh, but he rags on Mike Fleiss for not paying contestants and being so tough but, of course, had no problems being Fleiss’ 30K paid BITCH trying to find Steve’s mole(s) (and didn’t succeed and got no money which probably correlates to the rant.)

    Anyway, here’s another thing to consider and we’ll see if Steve elaborates (legal counsel may block him for now.) The case against him is based on e-mails sent to contestants. It’s highly doubtful these contestants provided anything (I think Steve has alluded to this quite a bit) but, how did the producers *get these e-mails in the first place*?!?!?!? I can’t imagine a couple of Ben’s pursuers suddenly decided to get all moral and righteous and offer up e-mails to the producers (and, besides, they are not so supposed to have access to e-mail during shooting so we have to assume it’s post-taping.) Is it conceivable then that THE PRODUCERS OFFERED $$$ TO CONTESTANTS IN EXCHANGE FOR CONTACTS TO/FROM STEVE?!?!??! Because, if I’m a lawyer and I have this case, by discovery (if not sooner), I push for information about whom these disclosers are and get an injunction to review their bank accounts super quick.

    In any case, I see this case dying eventually. The lawsuit generated minimal publicity outside of a couple of internet gossip sites and some attention from The Angry Dwarf that pretty much went nowhere. Mind you, the whole point might be to gag Steve long enough to scare him from revealing all the details from Ben’s season including the most important one of whom he picks. We’ll see soon enough.

  31. justicelee

    December 13, 2011 at 3:15 PM

    I think ABC should worry more about a law suit from a contestant becoming an alcholic or getting cervical cancer. They really push the drinking.
    Steve is the least of their problems.

  32. Sunnyside422

    December 15, 2011 at 12:11 PM

    This probably has occurred to you Steve, but these tools at ABC and Fleiss minions could just want to get you on the stand and try to force you to give up your informants since obviously no way in hell do they know who they are! Stupid people.

    And of course Bennie Boy would pick the babe who is seekingf fame and the spotlight and has the biggest tits. Soo in love. NOT! But I must say, she is certainly a huge step up from Ashley in the looks and tits department! Well let Bennie have his moment till she dumps his ugly ass.

  33. boom

    December 26, 2011 at 4:44 PM

    Sorry dude, but I do believe they have a suit and I agree you should be in some sort of trouble. You do ruin the show and you obviously get your info from an insider. That person might not be a contestant or producer or whatever but whoever you get it from is an insider of some sort. That person, as well as you, should have known you’d be sued someday. You totally ruin the show for all who watch and I’m sure you’re getting excited knowing the Hollywood Reporter mentioned your site. I, however, find your site defamatory and no better than Wikileaks. Good luck.

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