Love Is Blind Contestant Sues Over 'Walking Red Flag' Fiance

Renee Poche alleges that Netflix reality dating show forced her to stay with 'abusive' partner
By Jenn Gidman,  Newser Staff
Posted Jan 5, 2024 8:50 AM CST
Love Is Blind Contestant Sues Over 'Walking Red Flag' Fiance
This image shows Nick Lachey, left, and his wife, Vanessa Lachey, arriving for a "Love Is Blind" reunion at Sunset Bronson Studios in Los Angeles on April 16.   (Adam Rose/Netflix via AP)

Love may be blind, but according to a former contestant who competed on a Netflix reality show based on that concept, it's producers who turned a blind eye to her "abusive" matchup. People reports on a new lawsuit filed by Renee Poche, who competed on Season 5 of Love Is Blind, hosted by Nick and Vanessa Lachey—a complaint that claims she was set up with now-ex-fiance Carter Wall, who turned out to be 'abusive' and a "walking red flag." Poche, whose storyline wasn't featured when the show aired, alleges in her suit that both Netflix and production company Delirium TV "forced" her to carry on with her engagement to Wall and spend long periods alone with him, despite the fact that he exhibited "erratic and alarming behavior and emotional instability."

Poche says in her suit that she found out after matching with Wall that he "had lied about almost everything," and that he was actually "unemployed with a negative balance in his bank account, homeless, violent, estranged from his family, and actively addicted to drugs and alcohol" when the show was in production. "Wall regularly berated Poche, stole from the set or places they visited, and solicited others to buy painkillers and amphetamines for him," her suit claims. "Wall was emotionally abusive on and off camera, lied malignantly, and heavily abused drugs and alcohol." Poche's complaint asserts that a camera operator even quit after being threatened by Wall, and that show producers held on to her phone, passport, and other ID during filming and kept her locked in her hotel room, per the Washington Post.

"My experience on Love Is Blind was traumatic," Poche, who has since wed someone else, says in a statement. "I felt like a prisoner and had no support when I let Delirium know I didn't feel safe." Netflix and Delirium, meanwhile, are going after Poche for $4 million for violating her nondisclosure agreement (she earned $8,000 for appearing on the show), though she insists that agreement is "unenforceable." "These so-called reality TV contracts are, in reality, illegal," one of her attorneys, Bryan Freedman, tells Variety. Another Season 5 contestant sued in 2022, claiming she was sexually assaulted by another contestant on the show, and that producers wouldn't let her leave. In response to that suit, show creator Chris Coelen noted to People in October, "The participants are not under our control. ... They can leave—as many, many, many people have before—anytime they want." (More reality television stories.)

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