MY 600-lb Life star Destinee Lashaee accused show producers of forcing her to shave her beard, causing the transgender star to have suicidal thoughts.
The Sun can exclusively reveal Destinee, who filed the lawsuit in Harris County Court In Texas under her legal name Matthew Ventress, sued production company Megalomedia for negligence, intentional infliction of emotional distress, fraud and more on April 17.
In court papers obtained by The Sun, Destinee claimed producers of My 600-lb Life had “taken advantage” of her, as they focused “only on ratings.”
She claimed the production company promised to pay for mental health treatment, as she informed them that she suffered from “gender dysphoria and emotional distress from the loss of her brother, who died in her arms.”
However, she claimed in the court papers that producers only provided her with one therapy session “so that it could be filmed and be part of the show.”
Destinee, who is transgender, claimed she was “pressured to shave her face, which is a source of stress and anxiety to Plaintiff.”
The court papers alleged: “The filming of her shaving was so painful that it was not made part of the show. The stress led Plaintiff to have a breakdown in which she kicked the producers out of her home, and threatened to kill them and herself.”
She claimed that instead of de-escalating the situation, producers “returned to the home in hopes of getting more dramatic footage.”
She alleged that they “aggravated the situation” as opposed to “providing appropriate assistance."
Destinee also claimed producers “carefully scripted and managed many scenes for dramatic effect.”
When she would “push back,” producers would “threaten to reduce payments to her to not provide the promised gastric sleeve surgery.”
She claimed that although the production company “promised” to pay for medical care and treatment, she has thousands of dollars in medical bills.
The court papers allege: “The effects of Defendants’ manipulation of Plaintiff for dramatic purposes, among with the ramifications for the diet and Defendants’ demands on Plaintiff, took a tremendous psychological toll on Plaintiff.”
Destinee claimed producers failed to administer a psychological evaluation before putting her on the extreme weight loss diet, failed to provide adequate mental health services during filming and after surgeries, and failed to train employees regarding depression.
She is asking for $1 million.
Destinee appeared on Season 7, Episode 10 of the TLC show and is the second transgender cast member.
She was 669 pounds when she appeared on the series.
She said on her episode: “I’m just 27. I have so much that I want to do and need to do. I can’t believe this is my life now. Where I lay here all day and wait for food.
“I feel like all I’m constantly doing is trying to escape my depression and pain at this point. Food is the only thing I can turn to to do that. I can feel it killing me. There is no way I’m going to survive for much longer.”
Destinee underwent the surgery and is in the 200-lb range today.
She showed off her weight loss on Facebook.
She even praised Dr. Nowzaradan by writing: “Growth. Ty Dr Nowzaradan For Everything.”
The Sun can also exclusively reveal cast member Alicia Kirgan sued the production company for negligence, intentional infliction of emotional distress, fraud and more on April 17 as well.
Megalomedia has not responded to either lawsuit.
The Sun broke My 600-lb Life star Annjeanette Whaley accused show producers of “pushing her to the edge” by putting her on an “extreme diet” in her $1 million lawsuit on March 30, 2020.
As Starcasm reported, former cast members David Bolton, Maja Radanovic, Gina Krasley, Jeanne Covey, Dorothy Perkins and Nicole Lewis sued the production company with similar allegations.
Family members of participant L.B. Bonner, who committed suicide in August 2018, were the first to sue the production company in January 2020.
Megalomedia has not responded to Destinee, Alicia or Annjeanette’s lawsuits, or to The Sun's request for comment.
However, court papers reveal they did deny similar allegations in Gina's complaint.
The lawsuits come amid tragedy for the My 600-lb Life community.
The Sun exclusively reported season five star James King passed away from kidney failure in April.
If you or someone you know is affected by any of the issues raised in this story, call the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 800-273-TALK (8255) or text Crisis Text Line at 741741.
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