#Open journalism No news is bad news

Your contributions will help us continue to deliver the stories that are important to you

Support The Journal
Dublin: 5°C Monday 18 January 2021

'Real World' star settles with MTV over rape claims

Tonya Cooley alleged that she had been attacked by fellow contestants but Hollywood Reporter says the case has been settled.

Tanya Cooley during a webchat to fans.
Tanya Cooley during a webchat to fans.
Image: celebrityfanchat via Youtube.com

A YEAR AGO, Tonya Cooley filed a lawsuit against MTV claiming she was sexually abused by her cast mates during the Thailand season of The Real World/Road World Challenge: The Ruins.

Cooley, who originally appeared on “Real World: Chicago” in 2002, alleged that two other contestants raped her with an implement, and says she was a victim of repeated acts of sexual abuse throughout production.

But MTV countered that Cooley failed to take advantage of its “open-door policy with complaint procedures.”

MTV, along with parent company Viacom and production company Bunim-Murray, drove home their point by stating, according to Viacom’s papers:

In addition to failing to avail herself of VMN’s policies and complaint procedures, Plaintiff failed to avoid the injuries of which she complains. For example, while she was a contestant on The Ruins, Plaintiff was frequently intoxicated (to an extent far greater than other contestants), rowdy, combative, flirtatious and on multiple occasions intentionally exposed her bare breasts and genitalia to other contestants.

Cooley, who went on to pose for Playboy, insisted that her behaviour on screen was the result of producers supplying contestants with unlimited alcoholic beverages, further encouraging scandalous conduct.

Now, a year after Cooley initially filed the complaint, the reality TV contestent and Viacom/Bunim Murray Productions “have informed the judge that the dispute has been resolved and have asked for a stay for time to effectuate the resolution,” according to The Hollywood Reporter.

Details of the settlement have not been made public.

- Aly Weisman

Published with permission from:

Business Insider
Business Insider is a business site with strong financial, media and tech focus.

Read next: