Houston

‘Love is Blind’ Houston contestant files lawsuit alleging sexual assault 

The lawsuit alleges another participant sexually assaulted her while on the set of the show, with all incidents being captured on 24-hour surveillance.

Love Is Blind S5 - Press Notes_Page_01
Netflix

“Love is Blind” Houston participant Tran Dang filed a lawsuit against the filming companies and another participant, alleging she was sexually assaulted and falsely imprisoned while on the set of season 5.

The lawsuit, which was filed in August last year, alleges Thomas Smith sexually assaulted Dang while on the set of the show, with all incidents being captured on 24-hour surveillance.

Filming for the season began over a year ago, but the first four episodes, which were recorded in Houston, premiered on Netflix near the end of September. Dang and Smith were among other participants who did not appear in the final cuts of the season’s filming.

The lawsuit filed last year alleges that Dang and other show participants were falsely imprisoned by producers of Delirium TV and Kinetic Content, which she refers to as her “employers.” She was confined to the walls of her room at the Royal Sonesta Houston Galleria hotel while not on set except for a permitted 20-minute smoke break, according to court documents.

The next hearing date is set for Feb. 19 next year in the lawsuit that further alleges Smith sexually assaulted Dang throughout the night of May 3 while the show was being filmed.

Dang reported the assault in detail the next morning to the producers, but her attorneys said they swept her concerns under the rug and attempted to mask the assault by characterizing it as a “lack of attraction.”

Her attorneys further argue Delirium TV and Kinetic Content controlled Dang’s participation as a cast member and controlled her hours, location, interactions and activities throughout the filming of the show.

“When not on set, plaintiff remained on-call in her hotel room in isolation,” the lawsuit alleges. “Delirium TV and Kinetic Content prohibited Plaintiff from leaving her hotel room without express permission,” the lawsuit alleges. “Delirium TV and Kinetic Content also kept Plaintiff under 24-hour surveillance.”

In a joint statement, the two production companies said Dang continued in the experiment for weeks after the time her lawyers said an incident occurred.

“We deny and will vigorously defend the allegations against us,” they said.

“We support and stand with victims of sexual assault, but Ms. Dang’s claims against the producers are meritless,” according to the statement. “We document the independent choices of adults who volunteer to participate in a social experiment.”

“Their journey is not scripted, nor is it filmed around the clock,” according to the statement. “We have no knowledge or control over what occurs in private living spaces when not filming, and participants may choose to end their journey at any time.”

In response to the joint statement, Dang’s attorney said the producers are throwing money at the problem by spending an inordinate amount of money on losing legal positions that delay both parties from having their day in court.