'Love Is Blind' lawsuit: here's what former contestants allege about their time in the pods

'You thrust us into this situation without any support, and everything’s amplified. It literally ruins lives'

love is blind season 3 overhead shot of the pods
(Image credit: Netflix © 2022)

Love Is Blind lawsuits and allegations shine a whole new light on what supposedly transpired in the pods. 

Things went haywire after that disastrous Love Is Blind season 4  live reunion, and we're not just talking about the tech glitches. Some of the show's alumni sat down for a tell-all with Business Insider where they allege "emotional warfare" and mistreatment, a shocking report that went live on Tuesday, April 18, 2023, two days after the reunion. 

Though we had just wrapped up a dramatic, yet encouraging, fourth season—we're all Team Brett Brown and Tiffany Pennywell—and Love Is Blind casting is underway for future seasons, these reports took the unconventional series in a new and concerning direction. 

'Love Is Blind' lawsuit and allegations: here's what the cast has said

The Business Insider report is only available to the site's subscribers, yet the intricacies of the allegations have been widely spread, and some of the details are incredibly disheartening. If 20-hour workdays sounded rough, producers preying on emotions was perhaps one of the more challenging aspects of the show, according to cast allegations. 

We were surprised when Danielle Ruhl and Nick Thompson were one of the Love Is Blind couples who divorced, but we were even more surprised to hear what a difficult ordeal they both said they went through in season 2. Ruhl alleged that she felt suicidal but wasn't permitted to leave the show.

"I kept telling them, ‘I don’t trust myself,” she told the outlet. “I’ve tried committing suicide before. I’m having suicidal thoughts. I don’t think I can continue in this."

There is supposedly a $50,000 fine for those who split early. To add to her claims, her ex, Thompson, told Business Insider, "You thrust us into this situation without any support, and everything’s amplified. It literally ruins lives.” 

The grueling schedule that seemed to involve sleepless days and a lack of food and water—with simultaneously encouraged liquor consumption—made some contestants question why they decided to participate in the first place.

“I feel like they [production] do it on purpose because they’re trying to break you,” season 1 cast member Danielle Drouin stated. “They want you on your edge.”

All of these accounts drudged up a lawsuit made against the series in 2022 from Jeremy Hartwell, a contestant who didn't stay on season 2 much longer than a week. 

His proposed class action lawsuit read: "The combination of sleep deprivation, isolation, lack of food, and an excess of alcohol all either required, enabled or encouraged by defendants contributed to inhumane working conditions and altered mental state for the cast," according to various sources. 

It continued: "At times, defendants left members of the cast alone for hours at a time with no access to a phone, food, or any other type of contact with the outside world until they were required to return to working on the production.”

The cast is paid a flat rate of $1,000 per week, but given that they're working some 20 hours per day, that rate is $7.14 per hour, though the minimum wage in Los Angeles County where the pods were located is $15 per hour.

Kinetic Content responded to Hartwell by saying, "While we will not speculate as to his motives for filing the lawsuit, there is absolutely no merit to Mr. Hartwell’s allegations, and we will vigorously defend against his claims," according to various sources.

As far as the allegations that stemmed from the Business Insider reporting, Kinetic Content put out a statement in Variety that read: "The wellbeing of our participants is of paramount importance to Kinetic. We have rigorous protocols in place to care for each person before, during, and after filming.”

What's going on with Nick? 'Love Is Blind' lawsuit interview with 'The Daily Mail'

Following the infamous Business Insider feature, Nick Thompson went on to launch Unscripted Cast Advocacy Network (UCAN) in April 2023, which helps reality stars past and present seek legal counsel and mental health support. 

Then, in August, Thompson resurfaced with an exclusive interview with The Daily Mail alleging that the "brutal, brutal, brutal" industry has nearly left him homeless, as he cannot get hired after being let go in November 2022. He says his appearance on the Netflix series is to blame. 

"'I burned through my savings that cashed out my 401(k). I've got two months left in the bank to pay my mortgage. I can't get a job because people don't take me seriously," he revealed to The Daily Mail. "I was a VP in software for five years, so it's not like I don't have track record of experience or success."

He further stated that he wish he could undo his time on the Netflix show. 

"I wish I could just go back to having a nice life that I had built for myself, instead of wondering whether my mortgage is gonna get paid,' he said. "It's a brutal, brutal, brutal industry."

Danielle Valente
Digital News Writer

Need a TV show recommendation? Maybe a few decor tips? Danielle, a digital news writer at Future, has you covered. Her work appears throughout the company’s lifestyle brands, including My Imperfect Life, Real Homes, and woman&home. Mainly, her time is spent at My Imperfect Life, where she’s attuned to the latest entertainment trends and dating advice for Gen Z.

Before her time at Future, Danielle was the editor of Time Out New York Kids, where she got to experience the best of the city from the point of view of its littlest residents. Before that, she was a news editor at Elite Daily. Her work has also appeared in Domino, Chowhound, and amNewYork, to name a few. 

When Danielle’s not writing, you can find her testing out a new recipe, reading a book (suggestions always welcome), or rearranging the furniture in her apartment…again.