This article was intended to go into more depth of the legal meat-grinding the “Bachelor” producers are inflicting upon our favorite entertainment blogger, Steve Carbone. Specifically, I wanted to discuss the annoying, knife-fighting sideshow that is supposed to determine where the Main Event would eventually be fought. The article was tentatively titled “The Battle for Where to Have the Showdown”. We’ll see if that title sticks later.
The issue I have is that the legal combatants have not even remotely gotten close to arguing and defending the central allegations of the lawsuit. From what I know thus far, Carbone still looks to be in good shape for the Main Event IF it goes that far. However, if there is going to be a fight, it needs to quickly move forward, not slowed down by legal quicksand maneuvers.
Since December 2011, the lawyers have been battling back and forth for the lawsuit to be tried in their respective jurisdictions (their home state). The “Bachelor” producers want to argue the case in California and Carbone wants to argue the case in Texas where he lives. All the while, legal fees are being racked up on both sides. And we all know, dollar for dollar who is going to be hurt the most, our Lone Star Blogger: “Reality Steve”.
All the while, according to Carbone, multiple attempts to settle have failed because Carbone doesn’t like the plaintiffs’ proposed terms of the settlement which would allegedly hamper him and put him in the cross-hairs of future legal action. I can’t say I blame him. I have my own ideas of what terms are being offered to Carbone but it would only be sheer speculation and guesswork on my part.
Because I am typing this in the wee hours of the night while nearly everyone is asleep, I will have to postpone the in-depth analysis for now. I want to do it right with good explanations when I can carefully read the docket, cross-reference it with the actual court documents, accurately interpret what happened, and write it clearly and concisely.
For now, everyone will have to settle for the above summary of my impressions. We should also not entirely depend on the lawyers to help get Carbone out. That is why I set up the “Reality Steve Extortion Lawsuit” online petition for supporters to sign so we can put public pressure for this lawsuit to be dropped quickly and unconditionally allowing Carbone the freedom to move forward, entertain, and blog without stress, worry, and financial bleeding.
At this point, with no graceful transition whatsoever, I want to revisit the lawsuit complaint. If you were in a car with me, you would suddenly experience a sharp swerve into a side street with no warning. That is the jolt here. (Sorry, I am getting tired. That was the best analogy I could come up with at this crazy hour.)
In my very first article, I focused my attention on the initial Complaint because that is where all lawsuits begin. I wanted to find out what the “Bachelor” producers (plaintiff) are accusing Carbone (defendant) of. I also wanted to see what the plaintiffs are presenting as their opening firing salvo. Most lawsuit complaints I read typically have “Exhibits” (supporting documentation) accompanying the Complaint. I was and continue to be suspicious that there were no exhibits whatsoever provided with this Complaint. I interpreted the lack of plaintiff exhibits as intentionally withholding of essential information.
Why is it that the Complaint conveniently leaves out exhibits that directly support Numbered Paragraphs 15 through 18 where the plaintiff accuses Carbone of sending those emails to show contestants? It would normally be appropriate to attach copies of those emails as exhibits.
Additionally, why are there no exhibits to support Numbered Paragraph 19 where the “Bachelor” producers allegedly sent “cease and desist” letters to Carbone? It would normally be appropriate to attach copies of the “cease and desist” letters as exhibits.
My guess is that a decision was made for publicity reasons to leave them out of the initial lawsuit complaint to prevent the general public from seeing and reporting on them. After all, a lawsuit complaint can be accessed by nearly anyone. It is in the public domain. The plaintiffs wanted everyone to know that a lawsuit was filed against Carbone and have everyone see the allegations (accusations) but didn’t provide the supporting documents to support those allegations. How convenient.
The majority of the press coverage so far has been from the December 2011 time fame, shortly after the lawsuit filing date. No one has bothered to follow up on the lawsuit (besides me) because it is “boring” and not gossip-friendly. It actually requires intelligence and brainpower to understand the big picture of what is truly happening with this lawsuit, not just the gossipy nature of Carbone’s alleged emails that has not yet been shown.
The “Bachelor” producers fired the first shot at Carbone but withheld the identity of the person(s) who allegedly received the emails and the ugly words within the “cease and desist” letters.
This says to me that the lawsuit is ABSOLUTELY about intimidating Carbone into silence, cooperation, or a settlement. The complaint was written just long enough and substantial enough to meet the minimum standard of a Complaint filing in an attempt to intimidate Carbone.
I want everyone to remember this. All signs point to pushing Carbone around and bleeding him dry while using the legal system as the puppet strings to jerk him around. As I said before, if it can happen to him as a one-man blogger, website owner, and entrepreneur, it can happen to any of us should we decide to follow in his footsteps. This Hollywood Extortion Lawsuit needs to stop now.
For more “Bachelor” producers intimidation tactics, go read my last article: “Bachelor” Show Contracts: Is a $5 million Penalty for Violating a Confidentiality Clause Enforceable?
You should also read Attorney Oscar Michelen’s article: Penalty Provisions in Reality TV Contracts – Fair or Unenforceable?