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Pop culture obsessives writing for the pop culture obsessed.

Former Real World cast member sues MTV after being allegedly raped with a toothbrush

Illustration for article titled Former emReal World/em cast member sues MTV after being allegedly raped with a toothbrush

Tonya Cooley, a former cast member of The Real World: Chicago, has filed a lawsuit against MTV, Bunim/Murray Productions, and two male contestants on The Real World/Road Rules Challenge: The Ruins, claiming that she was sexually assaulted while filming the show in Thailand in 2009. According to TMZ, the suit alleges that fellow cast members Kenneth Santucci and Evan Starkman “took another male participant's toothbrush and rubbed the toothbrush around plaintiff's genitals, including rubbing her labia and inserting the toothbrush into plaintiff's vagina” while Cooley was “passed out cold.” (Probably from being really tired, from all the challenges).

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Cooley says that not only were producers aware of the incident—she believes they got it all on camera, and even replaced the other participant’s toothbrush, never telling her what happened. How Cooley knows about any of this is, unfortunately, not addressed in the suit. However, she also claims wasn’t the only instance of sexual abuse: Cooley says that female cast members were “stripped of their bathing suits” and that producers actively encouraged the male cast members to touch the females in their “intimate areas,” and that any complaint about such sexual abuse was routinely ignored. MTV has yet to comment on the lawsuit, though suddenly that insanely detailed waiver all Real World participants have to sign doesn’t look so insane.

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