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Sex Workers Who Sued Relativity Media Press for Case to Be Heard

Four Texas sex workers have asked for clearance to proceed with their lawsuit charging that Relativity Media breached its promise to protect their identities and help them remake their lives after they participated in the company’s reality television show “8 Minutes.”

The women’s action in a state court has been stayed pending the outcome of Relativity’s Chapter 11 bankruptcy. But the foursome — identified as Jane Does I-IV –appealed to the U.S. Bankruptcy Court in New York on Wednesday to let their complaint go ahead.

They argue that their claims of fraudulent inducement and personal injury against Relativity “have no connection and will not interfere with [Relativity’s] Chapter 11 effort” since they are only seeking to recover from insurance companies that covered the entertainment company in late 2014 and early 2015. They promised not to pursue any damages other than those recoverable from the carriers.

Neither the bankruptcy nor insolvency of Relativity can release the insurance carriers from payment, if a court finds that the sex workers are entitled to damages, according to the motion filed by attorney Damon Mathias of Dallas.

The filing charges that, in order to induce the women to participate in the short-lived “8 Minutes,” Relativity promised it “would provide them the ability to abandon sex work and would provide housing, medical and mental health care, educational, employment, legal and rehabilitation assistance.” The women also said they were promised their faces would be blurred during the nationally televised broadcasts. Instead, Relativity “failed to provide any of the promised assistance” and did not blur out the faces of two of the women, according to the filing.

Relativity’s television unit was sold off during the bankruptcy to three hedge funds, which had been senior lenders to the parent company. Remaining under the leadership of Tom Forman, the company recently renamed itself Critical Content. The suit by the four women also named Long Pond Media, a Relativity affiliate.

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