Flipping Out has won its fair share of fans over the ten seasons that have aired on Bravo so far, chronicling the life and career of designer Jeff Lewis. Now, however, Bravo has been hit with a lawsuit due to allegations against Jeff Lewis, his partner Gage Edward, and the show. The surrogate mother who gave birth to their daughter in 2016 has come out with the claim that the show filmed her live birth and aired it on television without her consent. Here's what we know.
Alexandra Trent served as the surrogate mother for Jeff Lewis and Gage Edward. According to Trent, she met the two men in 2015 after responding to a classified ad looking for a surrogate, had no idea that working with them meant appearing on a reality show, and only consented to her ultrasound appointments being filmed for the purpose of promoting surrogacy as an option for prospective parents. Trent states that she absolutely drew the line at the birth being filmed and aired, but the birth footage nevertheless hit the airwaves on Bravo.
The lawsuit states that Flipping Out producers agreed not to film the birth but then went ahead and filmed from behind a curtain. In the episode, Alexandra Trent can reportedly be heard screaming in pain, and her vagina was shown on screen, only blurred out. She further takes issue with comments made by the two new dads on the episode that showed the birth. Jeff Lewis said this on the episode:
If I was a surrogate, and I had known there was going to be an audience, I probably would have waxed. And that was the shocking part for Gage. I don't think Gage had ever seen a vagina, let alone one that big.
Surely no woman would want to hear those kind of comments about her, let alone if she hadn't given her consent for the footage to be filmed and aired, as Alexandra Trent states! She also has said that she didn't even know the birth had been recorded and then broadcast until a business associate filled her in while at a network event, then watched clips online. According to Trent, her requests that Bravo take down the clips have been unsuccessful. Variety reports that the lawsuit is seeking damages for invasion of privacy, fraud, and unlawful recording.
We'll have to wait and see what happens. At the time of writing, Bravo has not commented on the lawsuit. Only time will tell if Alexandra Trent will receive the compensation that she feels due after what happened when she gave birth.
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