Friday, May 8, 2009

Wife Swap husband sues for emotional damages after gay show

by Daniel Farey-Jones, Brand Republic/UK

LONDON - A husband in 'Wife Swap' has turned on the show's makers RDF and US network ABC and is suing for $10m (£5.7m) after his wife was swapped for a gay man.

Jeffrey Bedford from Oklahoma is suing Walt Disney, which owns ABC, and claims his experience during the filming of the show caused physical and mental illness and hospitalization.

The show, which has already been broadcast in the UK on Channel 4, has yet to be shown in the States on ABC.

Bedford thought he was to be living with a woman for the program, which normally asks the wives from two families to swap places. But in search of a different cultural collision, the program makers sent a gay man to live with Bedford, a devout Christian, who was not at all comfortable about the situation.

His wife, on the other hand, went to live with the gay man's partner and their two adopted teenage daughters and found herself warmly embracing the family and their lifestyle.

Back in Oklahoma, Bedford also claims that the producers of the show repeatedly told him that his wife was going to leave him and threatened not to reveal where she was if he did not participate in filming.

Walt Disney is contesting the claim and has stated that the contract between Bedford and RDF specified that the temporary partner could be either male or female.

photo via Brand Republic (Jeffrey Bedford is on the right in photo)


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