Things got a little too real during a shoot for the Discovery reality show “Street Outlaws: Memphis,” according to a married couple who are suing Discovery, alleging that they were assaulted during the filming.
According to the suit, filed Monday in federal court in Tennessee by Chad and Genny Larkin, series star Jonathan Day, aka JJ Da Boss, reached out to Chad Larkin in September 2017 asking him if he’d be interested in participating in a race to be filmed for the series.
The suit says that the race pitted the invited racers, including Chad Larkin, against the Memphis Street Outlaws, and Day stated that “the invited racers should do everything possible to get into the Memphis Street Outlaws heads because that is what the Memphis Street Outlaws were going to do to the invited racers.”
Heated words were exchanged, the suit says, with things escalating to physical violence.
“When Larkin turned around, his wife, Plaintiff Genny Larkin yelled, ‘look out.’ When Larkin turned around, Defendant Day and the other two individuals were running across the street at him. Day and ‘Bounty Hunter’ threw punches at Larkin and tackled him to the ground,” the suit reads. “As Larkin went down, he felt immediate pain in his leg, as though his ‘muscles and tendons were ripping.’ At that point Larkin was on his back with his face exposed. The Bounty Hunter and Day continued the assault, punching Larkin in the face repeatedly and kicking him in the ribs.”
The suit adds, “As the assault continued, Larkin literally believed the Street Outlaws were attempting to kill him. He literally feared for his life.”
According to the suit, the show’s producers “made no effort” to stop the alleged assault. “Rather, the camera crew and producers continued filming. In fact, incredibly, one of the producers instructed a camera man to get closer and get a better shot.”
When Larkin’s wife attempted to get the Memphis Street Outlaws off of her husband, the suit states, “a female member of the Memphis Street Outlaws grabbed the back of her head and pulled her to the ground by her hair, resulting in physical and emotional injury.”
Discovery had no comment for TheWrap on the lawsuit.
According to the suit, a producer on the show told EMTs who were present to “get off his set,” and instructed a camera operator to “get a good shot” of Larkin’s bloodied face, a shot that the suit says aired on the series.
The suit says that Chad Larkin suffered “extensive bodily injuries, including but not limited to, damage to his knee, face, eye, head, and back,” while his wife also suffered extensive bodily injuries, “including but not limited to, damage to her head, neck, back and arm.”
Alleging assault and battery, the suit is asking that Chad Larkin be awarded compensatory damages “not to exceed $5 million” and punitive damages not to exceed $5 million, and compensatory damages not to exceed $500,000 for Genny Larkin.
Pamela Chelin contributed to this report.