Reality Steve’s legal position: he hasn’t received information from contestants recently

Faced with a lawsuit from the producers of The Bachelor, “Reality” Steve Carbone’s lawyer has responded by saying Steve did not receive information from contestants from the ABC series, even though the lawsuit includes alleged e.mail messages from him that actively solicit information from contestants.

In a response to a Nov. 22 letter from the show’s lawyers, Steve’s attorney replied with a letter he posted on his site in response to the lawsuit, which he says he has not yet seen or been served. His attorney wrote, in part,

“…Mr. Carbone has not received any confidential information from the participants whom you indicate may have received recent emails from him, and he has no intention of posting any information from such participants, as no such information was provided. There has in fact been no interference with your clients’ participant contracts, and your assumption about alleged disclosures of information by any such participants as stated in your letter is incorrect. Thus, there are no valid grounds, or need, for the possible lawsuit threatened in your letter.”

A similar response to a Monday letter from the show earned a reply from Steve’s lawyer on Tuesday that said, in part,:

“…He did not receive his information about the current Bachelor Series from contestants. He therefore denies that there is a valid factual or legal basis for the threatened suit. For your clients to sue Mr. Carbone would be unnecessary– at best a waste of the parties time and expense and at worst, an illegal slap action attempting to deny Mr. Carbone’s First Amendment rights. Thus, any such suit would be responded to accordingly. We urge you and your clients to reconsider their position.”

The first amendment rights part is, of course, either a rhetorical strategy to appeal to the public or written by someone who never actually read the first amendment (“Congress shall make no law…”)–although the use of the word “slap action” may be a reference to the producers’ legal action possibly constituting a strategic lawsuit against public participation.

What’s interesting to me is that the second message specifies very clearly “the current Bachelor series,” and the first notes that anyone he may have e.mailed didn’t provide information to him (no kidding: they were the contestants who apparently sent their correspondence to ABC and/or the show’s producers). So these don’t deny that he’s never received nor paid for information in the past, just that it did not happen recently or have anything to do with the “current” series.

Also notably absent from the post is the cocky attitude Steve usually adopts in response to their actions against him (“I ruin their show for everyone,” continue to piss on their franchise).

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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.