Ryan Seacrest is known for his work on American Idol and Live with Kelly and Ryan, as well as his popular radio show and red carpet work. However, he has a (seemingly lucrative) side gig producing shows such as Keeping Up With The Kardashians and Shahs of Sunset on Bravo. Unfortunately, it’s the latter that is taking Seacrest to court, as we’ve recently learned a former America’s Next Top Model contestant is suing Ryan Seacrest's production company for Shahs of Sunset showing her nude onscreen.
Here’s what happened. Back in 2016, Shahs of Sunset was filming a Season 6 episode called “ Hava Nagila, Hava Tequila.” Cameras were on hand for an event at LA Fashion Week and captured Kiara Belen, who formerly appeared on Cycle 19 of America’s Next Top Model, in what she believes were “female wardrobe changing areas.” The cameras caught her in a state of undress which aired as part of the 2017 episode.
The model alleges that her likeness was used twice during the episode when it shouldn’t have been. Once, when another cast member on the show refers to her as a “bitch” and once when her body is shown “completely exposed” and in the nude. She says she did not agree for any nude shots to appear on Shahs of Sunset.
Kiara Belen was unhappy with the exposure, particularly given she says she was a few months pregnant at the time the episode filmed for Bravo and Ryan Seacrest Productions. Therefore, she’s taken to the Superior Court of the State of California to file for damages related to “Right of Privacy,” “Tortious Appropriation of Name of Likeness,” “Intentional Infliction of Emotional Distress,” “Negligent Infliction of Emotional Distress,” and “Negligence.”
The alleged incident has led to the former America’s Next Top Model contestant suffering “severe emotional injuries” in the aftermath of the episode, which aired on Bravo a couple of years ago. Her lawsuit stipulates that she believes she is entitled to damages “in an amount to be proven at trial, but not less than $100,000.”
A copy of the complaint was secured via Deadline, and the outlet says Ryan Seacrest and his production company have not given a statement about the filing yet. The outlet notes that Shahs of Sunset is a reputable series from a reputable production company and that it is standard for both signage to be available when these sorts of shows are being filmed, as well as for consent agreements to typically be signed in these sorts of situations.
Nudity on television is a complicated facet of programming with different rules given different situations and contracts. There are different standards for network TV, cable TV and subscription cable and different sorts of contracts signed depending on what sort of nudity that was being done. Kiara Belen, unlike Game of Thrones actors for example, wasn’t nude because she was filming a sex scene for a scripted program; the complaint claims she was changing in a random shot.
It will likely be up to Ryan Seacrest’s production company to provide contract info if it is, in fact, available. Meanwhile, unlike Keeping Up With The Kardashians, which is in the process of inking a new deal over at E!, Shahs of Sunset has not been renewed for Season 8 yet. The last episode of the reality series aired on Bravo on November 29, 2018.
Amazing Race & Top Chef superfan with a pinch of Disney fairy dust thrown in. Theme park junkie. If you’ve created a rom-com I’ve probably watched it.
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