Tonya Cooley sues, saying Kenny, Evan raped her with a toothbrush

Tonya Cooley has sued Kenny Santucci, Evan Starkman, MTV, and show producers Bunim-Murray, claiming the two men sexually assaulted her with a toothbrush while she was unconscious and cameras were filming The Challenge: The Ruins.

TMZ reports on the lawsuit, which it says that Kenny and Evan “took another male participant’s toothbrush and rubbed the toothbrush around plaintiff’s genitals, including rubbing her labia and inserting the toothbrush into plaintiff’s vagina.”

TMZ’s summary says that the incident “happened while she was passed out cold … and cameras were rolling,” and “Cooley says producers not only knew about the rape, they even replaced the toothbrush, but never told her what happened.”

In addition, the lawsuit says that producers encouraged men to “inappropriately touch female cast members’ bodies, including in intimate areas,” which sounds like it may have been part of a challenge, since it occurred when cast members were wearing bathing suits.

The Ruins aired in the fall of 2009, and was filmed in Thailand. Kenny and Evan were among the winners; Tonya was eliminated during the fourth episode for hitting Veronica during a fight.

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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.