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You Didn’t See This Coming! 23 Reality TV Show Scandals You Couldn’t Make Up

Reality TV Feature 2
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Apr. 21 2019, Updated 2:53 a.m. ET

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Let’s face it, Reality TV is scandalous. Most often contestants and castmates are so crazy that it’s hard to look away from their antics. You’re drawn into their drama and over-the-top storylines because, hey, they might be “regular people,” but they sure do make for good TV, and there's nothing like good reality show scandals that'll have you talking for weeks.

MORE: From Homeless To Bachelor Mansion! Colton Underwood’s Contestant Demi Evicted Twice

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Then, there are those scandals that are so out there that you never could've imagined them. While most fans expect the occasional fight or late-night partying blackout, there are other moments that are almost so ridiculous that that even the producers must have been shocked.

MORE: Sex, Fights & Jealousy: Secrets Of ‘Duck Dynasty’ Star John Luke’s Young Christian Marriage Online presents the best and worst reality show scandals almost too crazy to be true.

The Catfight of a Lifetime

//Reality TV

The Show: The Real Housewives of Atlanta

Who: Kenya Moore and Porsha Williams

What Happened: Moore taunted Williams about her failed marriage with a blow horn...yes a real blow horn. Before long, Williams snapped and retaliated with insults and became physical.

The Aftermath: A warrant for Williams’ arrest for battery was logged with the local police.

The Tattletale

//Reality TV

The Show: The Bachelor

Who: Chris Harrison

What Happened: Harrison got a little too mouthy with People spilling the beans about an alleged relationship between contestant Rozlyn Papa and one of the producers of the show.

The Aftermath: Papa denied the allegations, of course, and that was that.

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Sleeping With The Enemy

//Reality TV

The Show: Here Comes Honey Boo Boo

Who: Mama June      

What Happened: The former Toddlers & Tiaras momma proved to have her head in the clouds when it came to love when she began dating Mark McDaniel, who was sentenced to 10 years on charges of child molestation.

The Aftermath: The show was canceled.

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Fake Bankruptcy

//Reality TV

The Show: Dance Moms

Who: Abby Lee Miller

What Happened: The dance instructor was sentenced to 366 days in prison after pleading guilty to concealing bankruptcy assets. Miller had filed for bankruptcy, but concealed $700,000+ in earnings from the hit show.

The Aftermath: After her sentence, more tragedy hit when Miller was diagnosed with cancer.

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An Adult Model On A Family Show

//Reality TV

The Show: American Idol Season 2

Who: Frenchie Davis

What Happened: The fan favorite had a past that came back to haunt her. It was revealed that Davis had posed topless for an adult site several years before to make money for college.

The Aftermath: The 23-year old (at the time) was canned by Fox and Davis returned to Howard University. Her talent eventually led her to bigger and better things. She dominated Broadway by appearing in RENT, Dreamgirls, earned a Grammy nomination, and even returned to The Voice a decade later.

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Teen Mom Turned Teen Adult Star

//Reality TV

The Show: Teen Mom

Who: Farrah Abraham

What Happened: Abraham wasn’t content with being a reality-TV star and decided to “act” in adult films.

The Aftermath: The adult-star didn’t want to give up her new career and was subsequently fired by MTV for her scandalous new career.

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An Assault Scandal On A Dating Show

//Reality TV

The Show: Bachelor in Paradise

Who: Corine Olympios and DeMario Jackson

What Happened: The show about hooking up proved that not all was well in Paradise. Olympios accused Jackson of assault.

The Aftermath: The allegations were dropped when there was no “evidence that the safety of any cast member was ever in jeopardy.”

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The Open Racist

//Reality TV

The Show: Paula’s Home Cooking

Who: Paula Dean

What Happened: Dean lost her show after a lawsuit broke out where she was accused of racial discrimination and sexual harassment by one of her employees. The lawsuit was dropped, but further eyebrows were raised when Dean admitted to using the “N-word” and for hosting “plantation-style” parties where white guests were served by an all-black staff.

The Aftermath: The scandals caused her downfall despite several attempts on the Food Network’s star’s attempts to make a comeback.

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The Killer Bachelor

//Reality TV

The Show: The Bachelor

Who: Chris Soules

What Happened: Soules was involved in a hit-and-run which resulted in the death of a 66-year-old truck driver. After calling the police about the car crash, Soules fled the scene on foot.

The Aftermath: Soules was formerly charged with “leaving the scene of a deadly crash, resulting in death."

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The Not-So-Perfect Couple

//Reality TV

The Show: Flip or Flop

Who: Christina and Tarek El Moussa

What Happened: The HGTV stars seemed like a perfect couple: business partners, beautiful children, and deeply in love. Yet, rumors swirled of problems in their marriage and eventually they filed for divorce.

The Aftermath: The couple continued to work and co-parent together despite going through a tough time during their separation.

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Money Criminals

//Reality TV

The Show: The Real Housewives of New Jersey

Who: Teresa and Joe Guidice

What Happened: The table-flipping couple were indicted on 41 criminal counts, including several counts of fraud and conspiracy that saw them looking at jail time.

The Aftermath: Teresa was sentenced to 15 months in jail while Joe was sentenced to 41 months. Teresa got to spend Christmas with her four daughters in 2015, yet Joe isn't set to be released until 2019.

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Scammers? Or, Just Being Scammed?

//Reality TV
Teen Mom

The Show: Fixer Upper

Who: Chip and Joanna Gaines

What Happened: The husband and wife duo were accused of scamming their former business partners, John Lewis and Richard Clark, with a $1 million dollar lawsuit.

The Aftermath: The claims were called “meritless” by their lawyer.

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The Plastic Surgery Addict

//Reality TV

The Show: The Hills

Who: Heidi Montag

What Happened: Lauren Conrad’s cute blonde sidekick decided she wanted to shed her “cute” image for a sexier one. So, she underwent 10 surgeries within a day that saw her looking like the buxom Playboy version of her former self.

The Aftermath: It was a tough experience where Montag had to rethink her priorities and finances.

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An Abusive Husband

//Reality TV

The Show: Married At First Sight

Who: Jessica Castro and Ryan De Nino

What Happened: It didn’t come as much surprise that the couple lasted only a year before Castro filed for divorce. Although, no one was expecting her reason—apparently De Nino was violent and had threatened her and her family.

The Aftermath: It turned out that De Nino did have an anger problem even verbally abused the paralegal representing him.

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Dying To Be Skinny

//Reality TV

The Show: The Biggest Loser

Who: Rachel Frederickson

What Happened: The contestant on the weight loss show went a step too far in one direction and dropped 155 pounds on the show. What was left was a 105-pound skeleton and an investigation that involved contestants revealing how hard they were pushed to lose weight. As it turned out, some contestants had even passed out and developed eating disorders due to the extreme pressure to drop the pounds.

The Aftermath: Famed trainer Jillian Michaels eventually left the show under the scrutiny.

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A Bible Loving Sex Addict

//Reality TV

The Show: 19 Kids And Counting

Who: Josh Duggar

What Happened: A police report was released detailing that when Josh was 14 he molested four of his sisters and one family friend. It didn’t end there as Josh was also accused of abusing a woman that he met on Ashley Madison—an adult cheating website.

The Aftermath: The show was canceled, and a year later a new show debuted, Counting On, which focused on the other eighteen Duggar children.

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Against Equal Marriage

//Reality TV

The Show: Duck Dynasty

Who: Phil Robertson

What Happened: Robertson ruffled feathers when he gave an interview to GQ about his views on homosexuality. It wasn’t pretty and A&E quickly released a statement.

The Aftermath: Robertson was banned from the show…but only for a week.

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A Teenage Fantasy Scandal

//Reality TV

The Show: Love & Hip Hop

Who: Mendeeces Harris

What Happened: Harris was accused of forcing himself upon the 15-year old daughter of his live-in girlfriend in 2013.

The Aftermath: He was acquitted of the allegations, but that didn’t mean that the courtroom scandal didn’t hurt his reputation.

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The Worst Bachelor Ever!

//Reality TV

The Show: The Bachelor Season 18

Who: Juan Pablo Galavis

What Happened: Galavis was as ungentlemanly as they come. The Bachelor hunk upset contestants and fans alike with his derogatory remarks about homosexuals, marriage, women whom he slept with on the show, and he disappointed fans by not committing with a romantic gesture of, “I love you” to the final contestant.

The Aftermath: He was labeled as the “worst Bachelor ever” by fans and well just about everyone...

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The Cheating Millionaire

//Reality TV

The Show: Britain’s Who Wants To Be A Millionaire

Who: Charles Ingram

What Happened: It was the greatest scandal of the show’s lifetime. The millionaire winner had his friend in the audience cough when the correct answer was said.

The Aftermath: It didn’t take long for producers to catch on, and the college lecturer was taken to court and convicted to an 18-month long court sentence. Oh, and he lost the $1 million check too.

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Lured By An Internet Stalker

//Reality TV

The Show: Sister Wives

Who: Meri Brown

What Happened: The first wife of polygamist Kody Brown wanted to leave her husband and his wives for a man who she bonded with online. His name was Sam and in Brown’s words, “It was easy to connect with him, just because there was so much in common.” It turned out that “he” didn’t even exist. In real life Sam was a Lindsey, a crazed fan who just wanted to get close to the reality-TV star.

The Aftermath: Finding a positive note after her ordeal, Brown said that the experience would allow her to “help others who find themselves in similar circumstances.”

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An Untimely Death

//Reality TV

The Show: The Real Housewives of Beverly Hills

Who: Taylor Armstrong

What Happened: Armstrong spoke out against her husband, Russell, stating that she suffered years of physical abusive from him. On April 15, 2011 there was a press release that the RHOBH star was filing for divorce.

The Aftermath: Russell’s financial and personal struggles proved to be too much for the venture capitalist to bear, and he took his own life in his Mulholland Drive home on the day of the press release.

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The Cougar

//Reality TV

The Show: American Idol

Who: Paula Abdul

What Happened: Corey Clark was a hunky young contestant who was forced off the show in 2005 for failing to reveal his arrest record. But he went on ABC’s Primetime Live and said that the real reason he left the show was because of an affair he had had with Abdul where she promised to advance his career if he slept with her.

The Aftermath: Abdul denied the allegations, but her reputation was forever tarnished as a cougar.

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The Biggest Liar of Them All

//Reality TV

The Show: Survivor

Who: Johnny Fairplay

What Happened: Some people really want to win no matter what and in Fairplay’s case that meant convincing other contestants to feeling sorry for him so that he wouldn’t be voted off the island. Fairplay had a friend visit him to bring the news that his grandmother had died. In reality, she didn’t and fans and contestants were shocked by the lengths Fairplay was willing to go to to win.

The Aftermath: He coined a new term.

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