Skip to comments.'Makeover' now family feud (Extreme Home Makeover, LA style)
Posted on 08/11/2005 9:46:41 AM PDT by BurbankKarl
Downey family has sued ABC and the producers of "Extreme Makeover: Home Edition," claiming that there is a tale of greed and deception behind the scenes of the heartstring-tugging reality hit.
In a suit filed Wednesday in Los Angeles Superior Court, Charles Higgins II, 22, and his four younger siblings say that the producers took advantage of the family's hard-luck story and promised them new cars and other prizes to persuade them to participate in the program, first broadcast on Easter Sunday, March 27.
The Higgins children say that after both parents died within weeks of one another in 2004, they were taken in by Firipeli and Lokilani Leomiti of Santa Fe Springs. The suit claims that the Leomitis used the children to increase their chances of being selected for the program. In February, a construction team working on behalf of the producers tore down the Leomitis' existing 1,300-square-foot home and erected a new nine-bedroom residence in its place. The project was then featured on "Home Edition."
The suit claims that shortly after production wrapped, the Leomitis began working to evict the Higgins children who are black and at the time ranged in age from 14 to 21 through physical abuse and name-calling, including repeatedly using a racial epithet. None of the Higgins children lives in the house any longer, the suit says.
(Excerpt) Read more at calendarlive.com ...
Sucks. I really liked that show. It's now in the bin of skepticism with all the other 'reality' shows.
I read the full article at the link and fail to see how ABC or anyone involved in building the home is at fault whatsoever... sounds like a falling out between the two families.
Sounds like the problem is with the Leomitis family not ABC or the TV show. They did the job, and perhaps were suckered themselves. Sounds like the lawyers for the kids are suing anyone with deep pockets.
While I agree with your statement, it seems that the crux of the suit is an allegation that the Leomitis are frauds. It appears that ABC was just added for the deep pockets.
ding, ding, ding! We have a winner!
I remember that show. At the time they looked happy.
Correction: Almost none of what you see on television is entrtainment. It may be staged, but don't confuse that with entertainment.
This is insane, where is ABC at fault? Sounds like the kids are suing anyone and everyone who has a buck.
Who's got the most money? -- That's who's at fault...
A nice Scottish couple?
I think they were Somoan.
Lot of workmanship problems with those houses they slap together.
Ummm, they applied for the show, ABC didn't seek them out.
I have to say that the story didn't really ring true when they ran it. Something didn't seem right about the relationship between the kids and their supposed adoptive family.
Or as my dad says, "Fine Irish folks, the both of 'em."
What a sad situation. But, I'm having a hard time figuring out how this is the fault of "Extreme Makeover". They did what they said they would do which was to have a home built that would accommodate the recently expanded family. And, the same is true of the home builder.
The article states the following - " The Leomitis, who are also named in the suit, allegedly appropriated the children's cars and other prizes."
Seems to me, the lawsuit should be against the Leomitis only.
Yeah. I always wonder how those houses work out after a few months. Wood... and Lord knows what else.
I wondered how long it would take.
Litigation attorneys fees? Do the 'parents' have any money? Probably not but ABC and the vendors sure do.
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