Contractor Sues Spike TV’s “Catch A Contractor” For False Imprisonment, Defamation

The three co-hosts of the Spike TV show, Adam Carolla, Alison Bedell, and Skip Bedell.

The three co-hosts of the Spike TV show, Adam Carolla, Alison Bedell, and Skip Bedell.

Spike TV show “Catch a Contractor” uses the infamous model of NBC’s “To Catch a Predator,” but instead of snaring creepy men with the promise of an underage female, the Spike show lures in contractors “who have done their clients wrong” by posing as a new customer. But one contractor featured on the show says he was forced to sign a release for the show under duress and that the show unfairly portrayed his participation.

In a complaint [PDF] filed last week in a Los Angeles court, the contractor details how he appeared on the Spike show hosted by Adam Carolla.

According to the contractor, he began working on remodeling the clients’ house in July 2013. In September of that year, a building inspector flagged a framing issue, requiring an engineering proposal. The contractor claims the clients moved into the home in spite of the fact that the repair had not been made, and then, in Oct. 2013, stopped payment and ultimately canceled his contract.

Then in Dec. 2013, the contractor arrived at the home of “Elizabeth Stevens” to pick up a check for a new job only to learn once he got inside that the nice woman watering the front lawn had not been Ms. Stevens, but show co-host Alison Bedell.

Inside the house, the contractor says he was confronted by Carolla, Alison and her husband and third co-host, contractor Skip Bedell. According to the complaint, a “bouncer” blocked the door.

Carolla presented the contractor with three options — pay back all the money to the clients; walk away but with the caveat that the show would aid the homeowners in helping them sue the contractor; or finish the job under the show’s supervision.

But when the contractor says he tried to leave, the bouncer “moved to block” the door. Additionally, he claims that he felt “physically intimidated and alarmed” by Skip’s imposing presence and his martial arts and wrestling background.

The contractor says he was told that he “would look like a good guy,” and that there would be no further claim on the bid bond if he signed the release and agreed to finish the work on the house.

And so he signed the release and finished the work on the house. However, just days after completion, he says the homeowners revised the bond bid. And when the show eventually aired on Spike in 2014, the contractor says he was painted in an unfairly negative light, with the clients and co-hosts referring to him as a “criminal,” and with Alison Bedell trailing him around as if he were in hiding.

“Plaintiff’s address was readily available to [the clients],” reads the complaint, which also questions Alison Bedell’s claim to be a licensed private investigator. “There was no need to track him down… Plaintiff was readily available if Defendants had reached out, as opposed to creating drama for the sake of ratings.”

Producers paid the contractor a total of $10,000 for appearing on the show. He claims that he offered to use some of this money to fly in the homeowners’ family for the holidays and to help fix their motorcycle, but his offer was denied.

The day the show aired, one of the homeowners allegedly went on Facebook and noted the similarity between the Spike show and NBC’s “To Catch a Predator,” writing that Carolla “busts a contractor who touched me in the naughty places.”

The suit, which names Spike, Skip Bedell, the homeowner, the production companies, and various John Does, as defendants, alleges fraud, false imprisonment, defamation, and violation of right to name or likeness. The contractor seeks damages of at least $25,000.

If your cable company allows you to, you can watch the whole episode here to see if you think it portrays the contractor fairly.

[via Hollywood Reporter]

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