Real World Alum Sues MTV, Bunim-Murray Productions and Castmates for Sexual Assualt
Real World alum Tonya Cooley has filed a lawsuit against MTV, Bunim/Murray Productions and former castmates Kenneth Santucci and Evan Starkman alleging sexual assault, according to Entertainment Weekly.
In court documents obtained EW, Cooley claimed that she was sexually assaulted by Santucci and Starkman while filming The Real World/Road Rules Challenge: The Ruins in 2009 and that producers did nothing to stop it. She claimed after a night of heavy drinking, the pair of men refused to let her go to bed. The suit claims that Santucci squirted lotion on Cooley's head and that Starkman wouldn't let go of her. At that point, Cooley said she passed out on the floor, but the activity did not stop.
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"Santucci and Starkman took another male participant's toothbrush and rubbed the toothbrush around [her] genitals," the suit states. The following morning, "she noticed she was sore in her vagina and had lacerations/rash like abrasions." Cooley was sent home the next day for slapping a fellow contestant.
Cooley, who is seeking unspecified damages, is suing for 14 counts of sexual harassment, discrimination, assault, battery and negligence.
A rep for Bunim/Murray told TVGuide.com, "After a thorough investigation, we have found Tonya Cooley's claims to be completely baseless."
Cooley, 31, first appeared on MTV for Season 11 of The Real World. She went on to participate in eight of the Real World/Road Rules challenge spin-offs.