Woman devastated after genitals shown on TV
A SURROGATE mother is suing the Bravo TV network after footage of her giving birth was filmed and aired without her knowledge.
Alexandra Trent agreed to act as surrogate for Jeff Lewis, star of reality home renovation show Flipping Out, and his partner Gage Edward in 2016.
In the civil case she claims the producers filmed her vagina without permission and Lewis and Edward humiliated her by making "disgusting" comments on the show.
"If I was a surrogate, and I had known there was going to be an audience, I probably would have waxed," Lewis says in the footage.
"And that was the shocking part for Gage. I don't think Gage had ever seen a vagina, let alone one that big."
After discussion with the show's producers she agreed to have her ultrasounds filmed in the lead up to the baby's arrival (to promote surrogacy as an option for prospective parents) but said she didn't want the birth filmed.
According to the civil suit, despite the producers agreeing not to film the birth, they did so surreptitiously from behind a curtain.
She says neither she or the doctor was aware the birth was being recorded.
The episode that aired in August 2017 included moments where Trent could be heard screaming, and showed her blurred-out vagina.
According to Trent, she only became aware that the moment had been filmed well after the episode had aired - a business associate brought it up with her at a networking event, otherwise she wouldn't have known it had occurred.
She then went and watched the clips online. Variety says she immediately became "humiliated and distraught".
"In their quest for ratings, [the] Defendants have deeply damaged Trent and have caused incredible anguish, self-loathing, contempt and depression," the suit states.
She says that she has asked Bravo to remove the clips from the internet, but they have neglected to do so.
The suit also claims that she has since cancelled another surrogacy contract in the wake of the incident.
Trent is seeking damages for unlawful recording, invasion of privacy and fraud.
Lewis, 48, told People that the news took he and Edward by surprise.
"This is like a blow to the head. We are completely blindsided by this," he said.
"We are just devastated. I thought we had a nice relationship, a friendship. We treated her like an extended member of the family. So you can imagine this is pretty stunning.
"And this is where I'm so upset. Because, on one hand, I don't want to tarnish this most amazing experience of my life … We couldn't be more grateful to this woman for birthing our child. We are indebted to her … we are so completely grateful to her, because without her, we wouldn't have Monroe.
"But on the other hand, these are fabricated claims and are completely bogus and without merit. This smells to me like a financial shakedown."
Lewis tells People he thought they had a strong relationship with Trent and considered her part of their extended family.
"We bought her a beautiful push gift," he says.
He says Trent claims that she was filmed without her permission are "insanity".
"Not only did she sign an appearance release as part of our surrogacy contract, I believe she signed it as a separate appearance release with the production company. And she signed a nondisclosure agreement, which she now violated. So what's the point of legal agreements if you're just going to disregard them all?
"Flipping Out is not a hidden camera show. There were moments where there were two, three, four cameras. Everybody was mic-ed. There was a boom, there was a producer. There were production assistants. So how do you now say you didn't know you were being filmed? It's unbelievable.
"Shame on her for muddying such a beautiful experience," he continued.
"I personally believe she will have to answer to God one day for what she's done. And if I were her, I'd start drafting my apology now."