Jerry Springer and NBCUniversal, the producers of his bygone talk show, are being sued by the family of a man who say his appearance on the show led to his suicide.
Blake Alvey’s family allege in the lawsuit filed last week that his death was a direct result of the “extreme emotional distress” caused by the “negligent and intentional acts” of those involved in the taping of a May 2018 episode of “The Jerry Springer Show.”
The episode, which aired on May 25, saw Alvey ambushed by his then-fiancé Cassie Rutter, also named as a defendant in the lawsuit, who informed Alvey on the show that she had been unfaithful, was breaking off their engagement and had sold the engagement ring.
“The aforementioned conduct of the Defendants was extreme and outrageous and caused the Decedent to experience severe and extreme emotional and mental distress in the weeks following the taping and airing,” the lawsuit reads. “On June 3, 2018, as a result of severe emotional and mental suffering and anguish, [Alvey] shot himself in the head with a firearm and, as a result, died.”
Representatives for Springer did not immediately return TheWrap’s request for comment. NBCU declined to comment.
“The Jerry Springer Show,” famous for outrageous set-ups and on-camera outbursts, ran for 27 seasons, most recently airing in syndication via NBCUniversal Television Distribution. NBCU announced last June that it had canceled the show due to low ratings.
The lawsuit, filed in Jefferson Circuit Court in Kentucky last week, goes on to describe the behavior of Springer and those connected with the taping of the episode as “outrageous, intentional and/or reckless, offensive and against generally accepted standards of decency and morality.”
Alvey’s family accuses the defendants of wrongful death and infliction of emotional distress. They are seeking unspecified damages and a trial by jury.
“As Blake’s family alleges in our complaint, the Defendants caused him great emotional distress, leading to his tragic and untimely death,” the family’s attorney Brenton Stanley said in a statement. “The Jerry Springer Show was designed to humiliate and exploit people like Blake, while the Defendants disregard the devastating consequences that their conduct can have on people’s lives. We will fight to hold them accountable.”
Pamela Chelin contributed to this report.