Cheaters host Joey Greco’s stabbing was staged, paid actor says

Cheaters has been on the air for nine years now, documenting scorned lovers confronting their cheating partners in the act, with a camera crew in tow. It’s like an episode of Jerry Springer filmed in the cheaters’ natural habitats. And the syndicated series is often accused of being fake, particularly since a 2003 episode during which host Joey Greco was stabbed, which to me has never seemed genuine, although some of the early episodes certainly did.

Inside Edition reports today that the stabbing was faked, as was a relationship shown on at least one episode.

This comes seven years after The Houston Press reported basically the same thing: people were hired to pretend to be cheating. The paper cited “five twentysomethings [who] say investigator Danny Gomez paid them $400 to act out phony scenarios that were presented as real on the show.” The paper’s story is a great piece of journalism and worth a read.

Inside Edition adds to that evidence by reporting that Cari Wyatt “was paid $500 to appear in an episode of Cheaters” and “asked to pretend that she was having a torrid affair with one guy while she was engaged to another,” but “never met either man until the day they started shooting and that the whole thing was fake.”

“No, it’s not real at all. … I’ve never been engaged,” she said. “They asked us to sit next to the windows, ham it up a little bit, be flirty and touchy, to kiss a couple of times, but we never did, we just faked it.”

The tabloid TV show also reports that the stabbing of host Joey Greco on board a boat was faked, reporting that “a Dallas hotel receptionist … says she was paid $350 for a few days work playing a woman who is caught having an affair with the man,” and says that “the ambulance was rented, the blood was fake, and everything was scripted right down to the person who fell off the boat.”

Cassandra Terrazas told the show, “It was all set up. They just rented a boat for us and we were supposed to be out like we were fishing and I was supposed to be sunbathing, and then they were going to come up on another boat and catch us.”

As further evidence, the show claimed the stabber was arrested by local police, but the Rowlett, Texas, Police Department’s spokesperson said, “There were no arrests at all during that time period for that type of crime.”

When confronted with that evidence, executive producer and creator Bobby Goldstein (who initially said he was “positive” that everything on the show is real) told Inside Edition, “It was represented to me that this incident actually occurred.” Way to carefully word a sentence. He also said, about visiting Greco in the hospital post-stabbing: “My recollection is that he was very pale, very frail, very scared, but he was very courageous. But let me say this, if it was all poppycock, it sure did great in the ratings.”

Inside Edition Investigates Cheaters: Is It All a Hoax? [Inside Edition]
Your Cheatin’ Art [Houston Press]

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about the writer

Andy Dehnart is a journalist who has covered reality television for more than 15 years and created reality blurred in 2000. A member of the Television Critics Association, his writing and criticism about television, culture, and media has appeared on NPR and in Playboy, Buzzfeed, and many other publications. Andy, 36, also directs the journalism program at Stetson University in Florida, where he teaches creative nonfiction and journalism. He has an M.F.A. in nonfiction writing and literature from Bennington College. More about reality blurred and Andy.