A Beverly Hills plastic surgeon on Thursday filed suit in an effort to block E! Entertainment from airing an episode of a reality show, saying that it set out to humiliate him and to break up his marriage.
Michael Obeng says his wife, Veronika Obeng, agreed to participate in the show, originally titled “Second Wives Club” in 2015. Michael Obeng went along with the idea in hopes of promoting his business, and because he thought it would spotlight their happy marriage. However, he says he quickly realized he had been misled.
“The Series was nothing about the couple’s happy marriage as Defendants represented to Plaintiff,” the lawsuit states. “The Defendants constantly staged Plaintiff in artificial situations and demanded Plaintiff to engage in conflicts that were often fraudulent and deceptive.”
The show evidently succeeded in creating conflict — Veronika Obeng filed for divorce in July 2016.
Obeng claims that he was required to display an “unrealistic and manufactured personality,” which could harm his business if the show is allowed to air. In a letter from his lawyer to E! Entertainment in August 2016, Obeng demanded that he and his children not be included in the program. The letter identified the show under a new name: “Famously Married.”
E! is set to air “Famously Married” this year. According to the network, the show “explores the lives of young women who recently married or plan to marry wealthy and successful older men.”
Obeng signed a talent agreement with Bright Road Productions, which is also named as a defendant in the suit. The contract requires Obeng to settle any disputes in arbitration, and it also warns that the show may include “dramatic, humorous, embarrassing, humiliating, and satirical elements.” Obeng initially filed a demand for arbitration, but says he has received no communication from the network. When he recently discovered that the show is about to air, Obeng filed the lawsuit.
Obeng is also suing NBCUniversal, the parent company of E! Entertainment. The suit seeks an injunction barring the network from airing or promoting the episode in which Obeng appears.
E! Entertainment did not immediately respond to a request for comment.
Update: An E! spokesperson said, “E! has not received a complaint and will not comment on this matter.”