Three and a half years ago I was chosen out of 15,000 contestants to be one of 15 contestants on Fox’s biggest reality TV show of its time. To this day, There hasn’t been another show that had a thirty million dollar budget. I was hesitant to go due to having to leave life as I knew it for an entire year but also excited to begin the journey. Two weeks prior to the first filming we had to go into isolation without computers, cell phones etc. Our bags were gone through prior to us entering our hotel rooms and all digital devices were taken. Many contestants however kept little pre-paid phones on them during sequester. Our hotel room phones also were monitored. It was necessary during this time.
One week into sequester at about 1am I woke to another male contestant standing inside my room in only boxers. He had climbed over his balcony two rooms down onto the joining balcony between our rooms and then onto mine. Unfortunately my balcony door wasn’t locked. I attempted to kick and fight him off but my resistance was not a measure to this man’s strength. My voice however was! I screamed so loud that a young man in the next room heard me and began banging on my front hotel room door from the hallway. By the grace of God it was enough to scare the creep who thought he had the right to attempt to violate me away. I immediately called the PA Fox had assigned to me from our hotel room phone. When my pa arrived I demanded to speak to security, the police and the producers. I was told I would have that opportunity in the morning and that tonight, they were moving my room to an inner hallway room with no balcony. The next day after waiting six hours two of the producers entered my room. I told them of the incident and they said they were handling it and the “gentleman” was being removed from the show. One day later I was moved to a different hotel where I was greeted by an attorney who threatened me with a lawsuit if I ever spoke of the incident.
I’M SPEAKING NOW!
During the two and a half hour drive from LA to San Diego I watched my phone that was handed back to me upon leaving light up like a Christmas tree. I was being called a cheat all over the national news. They claimed I was “booted from the show for using my cell phone”. When in actuality, the only thing I was “guilty” of was reporting being attacked by another contestant.
The press work we had done for FOX leading up to the show airing had not served me well. I was now being called a cheat. This was by far the most traumatizing event that ever happened in my life. Every time I would see another headline it was as though I was being attacked all over again. The embarrassment and shame crippled me from leaving my home for almost two months. I felt like such a failure but in actuality, the man who attacked me was the failure! He failed himself and ALL men and women that night! I’ve stayed in touch with the young man who I think saved my life and my soul that night. He wasn’t supposed to be in the room next door but had attend a retail conference and chose to stay an extra night. God’s hand playing a role in saving me from the one thing I wouldn’t have been able to stop.
PLEASE speak out if you have been violated! So much shame! I’m only ashamed that I didn’t speak out other than to close friends before now. MeToo