Popular TV Host Nev Schulman Accused of Sexual MisconductPublished: Jun 15, 2018 in Criminal Defense, Sex Crimes
Ayissha Morgan, a guest on MTV’s “Catfish,” recently accused the show’s host and executive producer Nev Schulman of sexual misconduct. On the program, Schulman entertains audiences by trying to determine if people using dating apps are actually who they claim to be. Morgan alleges that during her time on the show, Schulman harassed her and attempted to coerce her to have sex with him. Morgan also claims that a production assistant sexually assaulted her.
Schulman denies the allegations, but MTV has opened an investigation and put the production of “Catfish” on hold. If Morgan’s claims are true, MTV and Schulman may be liable for workplace sexual harassment. The production assistant who allegedly forced herself on Morgan may face criminal charges of sexual assault.
Two Members of MTV’s “Catfish” Investigated for Sexual Misconduct
Morgan’s allegations appeared in two videos that she published on Facebook. She posted the second video on the condition that her followers give her first video at least 500 likes. The most serious claims concern a production assistant whom Morgan calls “Carol” in one of the videos. After getting drunk together, Morgan went to Carol’s room. As Morgan drifted in and out of consciousness, she remembers Carol getting on top of her and possibly committing sexual assault.
Morgan also alleges that a man named “Jack,” the main personality on the show, repeatedly questioned her sexuality and propositioned her. “I don’t think you’re a lesbian I just think you haven’t met the right guy yet,” he allegedly told her. “Have you ever had sex with a guy? I think you should try it, I have a big d— I would tear your a– up.” Although Morgan never calls him by name, it can be surmised that Jack is the show’s host, Nev Schulman.
Morgan claims that Jack handed her a note in which he asked if she found him attractive. He then asked her for details about the sexual encounter with Carol, and proposed that Morgan follow him to his hotel room, where she could act out lesbian sex. The above allegations against Jack paint a pattern of disturbing conduct. From a legal point of view, however, Jack’s most egregious misconduct occurred when he allegedly asked Morgan what she was willing to do to get a position as co-host. Making a sexual favor a condition of a promotion is illegal workplace sexual harassment.
Do Morgan’s Allegations Involve Criminal Conduct?
If Schulman faces legal action for his sexual misconduct, it will likely occur in civil court. Morgan’s claims outline a pattern of conduct that likely created a hostile work environment, which is one possible basis for claiming workplace sexual harassment. The most serious misdeed, however, was suggesting that a promotion could occur in exchange for a sexual favor. As Morgan’s supervisor, Schulman could be held personally liable for workplace sexual harassment. Morgan and Schulman’s employer, MTV, could also be held responsible.
Schulman’s alleged conduct, however, was not criminal. Sexual harassment generally isn’t a crime unless it involves unwanted touching or non-consensual sex. Based on the videos, Morgan only alleges this type of conduct against the production assistant. If convicted of sexual assault, Carol could face stiff penalties. In most U.S. jurisdictions, sexual assault is a felony-level offense that carries a lengthy prison sentence, large fines, and the obligation to register as a sex offender.
Schulman Denies Any Wrongdoing
Schulman has denied all of Morgan’s allegations. “The behavior described in this video did not happen, and I’m fortunate that there are a number of former colleagues who were present during this time period who are willing to speak up with the truth,” he said in a statement provided to USA Today. He added, “I have always been transparent about my life and would always take responsibility for my actions – but these claims are false.” This statement may be referencing the fact that in his book, “In Real Life: Love, Lies & Identity in the Digital Age,” Schulman admits to assaulting a woman while attending Sarah Lawrence College in 2006.
Have You Been Accused of Sexual Misconduct? Call Us Today for Help
Accusations of sexual misconduct accusations can turn your life upside down. Whether such accusations involve sexual harassment in the workplace or criminal sexual assault, you face irreparable damage to your reputation, career, and personal life. If you are facing charges over alleged sexual misconduct, act fast and hire a Houston sexual assault lawyer from The Law Offices of Ned Barnett. Schedule a free and confidential consultation attorney Ned Barnett today by calling (713) 222-6767, or by reaching out through our online form.