Since season 2, Netflix's Love Is Blind has been plagued by controversies, starting in 2022 when season 2 contestant Jeremy Hartwell alleged that the contestants were denied food and water for extended periods during filming.
Now, season 5 contestant Renee Poche has come forward with her Love Is Blind story in a lawsuit against Netflix and Delirium in which she claims that her ex-fiance is a "walking red flag" while backing up Jeremy Hartwell's 2022 allegations about the working conditions.
Inside Renee Poche's claims against Netflix and Delirium
Renee Poche told Variety that she was cast on the show after being reached out to by the casting team via Instagram in 2021. She went through an extensive interview and vetting process and her experience during the casting and interview process is part of the reason that Poche thinks Netflix and Delirium should be held accountable for the behavior displayed by her partner on the show.
The show followed as Poche allegedly fell in love with her ex-fiance, Carter Wall, who she claims should never have been cast on the series due to showcasing erratic and even violent behavior. Poche says that when she voiced concerns about Wall's behavior, she was still forced to spend alone time with him and pursue a relationship with him.
"My experience on ‘Love is Blind’ was traumatic. I felt like a prisoner and had no support when I let Delirium know that I didn’t feel safe. I tried to deal with these emotions over time and eventually felt like I needed to share what had happened. I felt it was only right to let others know the truth of what all of the castmates had to endure."
Poche says that the pair initially had a connection, but things fell apart when Poche discovered that Wall had been lying about parts of his personal life and, the complaint against Netflix and Delirium claims, was abusive toward her off-camera.
Renee Poche isn't the only season 5 contestant to speak out against the show. Tran Dang, another contestant that was part of season 5 of the show but whose segments were ultimately not aired, also sued Netflix in October 2023 for alleged sexual assault and false imprisonment.
Following Tran Dang's accusations, the creator of Love Is Blind, Chris Coelen, spoke out to say that the production company stands by victims and that any contestant that expresses concerns or doesn't feel safe is removed from the situation and they remedy issues on-set.
Renee Poche hired Bethenny Frankel's lawyers
To fight back against the issues she had on the show, Renee Poche has hired the same team of lawyers that Bethenny Frankel hired when she started working with them in July 2023 to help create new protections in the workplace for reality TV stars.
Fredman and Geragos, the legal team that Bethenny Frankel hired, now work for dozens of reality stars that had issues on the production where they appeared. When asked about Renee Poche's case, Mark Geragos said, "What Renee suffered and Bethenny exposed is not just rampant but part of a dirty industry secret. We fully expect thousands of claimants to come forward when they realize that these so-called contracts are not just illusory but also illegal."
Because Netflix and Delirium claim that Renee Poche breached her contract by making public comments about her experience on the show, Variety reports that she might be on the hook for $4 million.
But, her legal team says that Netflix and Delirium's contract that stop her from speaking out negatively against her experience on the show is a "a license to wreak emotional and financial havoc all while profiting for an eternity."
Issues like this, her legal team says, are the type of reality TV exploitation that Bethenny Frankel is also trying to work to stop. According to her team of Hollywood lawyers, this lawsuit could change the way reality TV contracts work for future stars and they don't seem concerned about the huge financial penalty that Renee Poche could be responsible for if she's found in breach of her contract for speaking out.