Tonya Cooley Sues MTV Over Sexual Assault
By Mack Rawden 2011-10-28 15:32:40
Tonya Cooley, best known for her frequent appearances on the MTV Real World/ Road Rules Challenges, has filed an explosive lawsuit accusing two fellow cast members of sexually assaulting her while cameras rolled. The legal paperwork claims Kenneth Santucci and Evan Starkman pilfered a third roommate’s toothbrush and inserted it into Tonya’s vagina while she was passed out cold. Rather than step in, producers reportedly remained silent and even replaced the toothbrush.
It’s unclear exactly how much Cooley is asking for in damages, but her lawsuit has named MTV, Bunim/Murray Productions, Santucci, Starkman and several others. The documentation also alleges she and several other female cast members were stripped of their bathing suits, and male cast members were encouraged to touch them inappropriately.
According to TMZ, Cooley says she reported other incidents of sexual misconduct to producers, but her worries were cast aside and ultimately ignored. Not surprisingly, no one from either MTV or Bunim/Murray is publicly commenting on the charges.
Further clouding the waters on this lawsuit is the fact that Cooley was herself booted off the MTV show for slapping another cast member. She seems to think of it as further evidence of just how off-base the show’s morality system is, but if this goes to trial, it seems likely the incident will be used against her.
The forced nudity doesn’t surprise me in the least. I’m not saying it’s right, but Tonya’s been on this show enough times to know frat boy behavior is rampant. The toothbrush incident, however, is disgusting, and if it did happen, the proper parties should be held accountable. No one has the right to sexually assault a woman, whether she’s passed out or not.