'Love Is Blind' lawsuit: everything former contestants have revealed about treatment 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 from cast members shine a whole new light on what supposedly transpired in the pods. 

All hell broke loose 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, 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 truly new and concerning direction. 

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

The Business Insider report is just 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 had said she felt suicidal but wasn't permitted to leave the show, per her allegations.

"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 an alleged $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 The Tab, among other 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.”

We'll continue to keep you informed as more news comes forward from both sides of the situation. 

Danielle Valente

Danielle is a writer for woman&home and My Imperfect Life, covering all-things news, lifestyle and entertainment. 

The heart of her time at Future has been devoted to My Imperfect Life, where she's been attuned to the cosmos, new TV shows and relationship trends.  

Before her time at Future, Danielle was the editor of Time Out New York Kids and a news editor at Elite Daily. Her work has also appeared in Domino, Chowhound, amNewYork and Newsday, among other outlets. 

When Danielle is not working, you can usually find her reading a book, coffee at hand, or attempting a new recipe. (Recommendations always welcome!)