Are you a fan of the hit ABC shows Bachelor, Bachelorette, or Bachelor Pad? If so, you’re more than likely aware of Steve Carbone, AKA Reality Steve, the popular blogger who provides exclusive details and spoilers about the shows and their contestants.
Despite his fame among his fans, the production companies behind these shows do not share the same feelings. In December, NZK Productions filed a lawsuit against Carbone claiming that he had exchanged money for information from contestants of last season’s Bachelor. After a 7 month legal battle, both sides were able to reach a settlement this month.
“I think my readers know, I think the contestants of this show, and I certainly know, that what I do brings attention to their show,” recalled Carbone when we spoke with him recently, “so I don’t know why they would go after the guy who has spoiled their seasons for the last 3 years.”
The root of the lawsuit was that Carbone was offering money to contestants in exchange for information. Although he denied this claim from the beginning, Carbone did admit that he offered 3 contestants money for information but said he was rejected.
“They came after me thinking that that’s how I get my information - that I’m telling these people to breach their contracts, which wasn’t the case,” he said.
As he explained, since the middle of the season was a little dry, he was hoping to add to it. Other publications such as US Weekly pay to get their exclusive stories, and since RealitySteve.com was profitable, he decided to make an attempt at it.
“I shouldn’t have offered anybody money for information,” said Carbone. “I learned my lesson – shouldn’t have done it.”
Carbone told us that, since he knew what he did wasn’t legally wrong, he felt he could have won. However, his mounting legal bills led him to settle.
“The bottom line was it was gonna cost way to much money in the end,” he said. “There was no guarantee that I would’ve ever gotten all my legal fees back, and I just couldn’t take that chance.”
His fans came through with some financial help, after blogger Matthew Chan suggested that Carbone incorporate a donation button on his site. Chan also set up a petition on Change.org explaining how Reality Steve was being wrongfully accused.
Carbone told us that he very thankful for both Chan’s kindness and the support of his fans throughout the ordeal. Although he still has a hefty bill to pay, he’s grateful that they came through for him on both the financial side and the encouragement side.
As for the settlement, Carbone was hesitant to settle at first because he didn’t want to have to give up his civil liberties. The terms that he did agree to though only prevent him from initiating contact with the cast, crew, and other employees of the Bachelor regarding issues of the series.
“I’m still gonna be able to do what I do, and I was happy with their latest settlement,” he said.
He went on to say that readers should expect the same content they always have, which, of course, means more spoilers and juicy details. Although some people have suggested that the current Bachelorette season has been impacted by the lawsuit, Carbone disagrees. According to him, he’s not 100% sure on the ending yet and that’s why he hasn’t revealed it. But, he said, as soon as he is certain, he’ll publish it.