Love is Blind contestant Tran Dang is suing production companies Kinetic Content and Delirium TV, claiming that she was sexually assaulted during her time on the fifth season of the hit reality series.
According to Dang (via Variety), she was assaulted by her former fiancé Thomas Smith during the filming of Season 5 of Love is Blind. Dang also alleged that instances of false imprisonment and negligence occurred at the hands of the production companies as well. During their time on the show, Dang and Smith got engaged, although they were not featured in any episodes.
Both Kinetic Content and Delirium TV denied any allegations in a statement, following the initial reporting of the lawsuit.
“We support and stand with victims of sexual assault, but Ms. Dang’s claims against the producers are meritless. We document the independent choices of adults who volunteer to participate in a social experiment. Their journey is not scripted, nor is it filmed around the clock. We have no knowledge or control over what occurs in private living spaces when not filming, and participants may choose to end their journey at any time,” the companies said.
“We take any and all concerns of our participants seriously and prioritize their well-being. Obviously, we cannot address undisclosed concerns, and throughout the time that Ms. Dang was involved in the production of Love is Blind, she never informed the producers of any alleged wrongdoing of any kind. Nor did she choose to end her participation in the experiment. Instead, Ms. Dang continued in the experiment for weeks after the time her lawyers now claim an incident occurred. We deny and will vigorously defend the allegations against us.”
In her lawsuit, Dang claims that Smith sexually assaulted her on May 3, 2022, while the show was filming a Mexico getaway vacation trip. She alleges that “Smith, and without Ms. Dang’s consent, forcefully groped her, exposed himself in the nude, and repeatedly made sexual contact over her express objections.”
“Because of [Kinetic Content and Delirium TV’s] 24-hour surveillance of cast members, most, if not all, of these traumatic acts were likely captured on film,” the suit continues.
Creator and CEO of Kinetic Content Chris Coelen denied those claims specifically, saying that contestants aren’t filmed all day, and are “living their lives” not on camera at times. ““We don’t mount cameras in the bedrooms or bathrooms. We don’t have any of those. They know when we’re around. As a true believer in these real relationships, I want them to know what it’s like to be with their partner,” Coelen said.
Coelen also said that sometimes the show chooses not to show couples who get engaged for other reasons, noting that “each season, there are are lots of stories that we don’t tell, regardless of whether couples get engaged or not. Some of them even, we will follow for a little bit and not show their story on the show. It’s a little bit of a judgement call.”
Dang also claimed that Smith harassed her during a phone call in May 2022, and that she reached out to the producers to complain, and even tried to quit, but was forced into doing one final scene.