LOUISVILLE, Ky. (CBS Local) — The family of a Kentucky man who committed suicide shortly after appearing on “The Jerry Springer Show” has filed a wrongful death lawsuit against Springer and NBC.
The family of Blake Alvey said he was ambushed on the syndicated tabloid talk show on May 8, 2018, when he was confronted by his fiancée Cassie Rutter, WDRB reported
Rutter told Alvey that she had been unfaithful with his good friend, no longer wanted to marry him and had sold the engagement ring he had given her.
The lawsuit claims the show knew the actions would “elicit an extreme reaction” from Alvey.
The episode, “Gay Phase … Over,” aired on May 24. Alvey, who lived in Louisville, shot himself on June 3.
NBCUniversal announced June 20 that it was canceling the series after 27 seasons due to low ratings.
The suit claims that Alvey, who left behind a newborn son, killed himself “as a result of severe emotional and mental suffering and anguish.”
It accuses the Jerry Springer show of “reckless disregard for the lives and safety of others.” Rutter has also been named as a defendant in the lawsuit.
“The Jerry Springer Show was designed to humiliate and exploit people like Blake, [disregarding] the devastating consequences that their conduct can have on people’s lives,” Brenton Stanley, Alvey’s family attorney, said in a statement.
The lawsuit was filed last week in Jefferson Circuit Court. It is requesting unspecified monetary damages and a jury trial.
WDRB said it reached out to the show for a comment, but has not yet heard back.