The surrogate mother who bore the child of “Flipping Out” star Jeff Lewis and partner Gage Edward is suing the Bravo network, alleging she never consented to have the birth of the baby filmed for the reality show.
As Variety reports, surrogate Alexandra Trent delivered the couple’s daughter in 2016, and says she was mortified to watch herself give birth on “Flipping Out” in August 2017.
In her lawsuit, Trent claims she never consented to having her vagina filmed. Furthermore, she alleges she was humiliated by Edwards’ “disgusting” comments that accompanied the footage that aired on the show.
“If I was a surrogate, and I had known there was going to be an audience, I probably would have waxed,” Lewis said on the “Flipping Out” episode. “And that was the shocking part for Gage. I don’t think Gage had ever seen a vagina, let alone one that big.”
Trent’s suit alleges she met Lewis and Edward in early 2015 after responding to a classified ad, and had no idea at the time she would be part of a reality show. After agreeing to act as the couple’s surrogate, she consented to having her ultrasound appointments filmed but drew the line at allowing the actual birth to be filmed.
However, her suit alleges that even though producers agreed to her conditions, the birth was filmed clandestinely from behind a curtain, with neither she nor the doctors aware they were being filmed. She also says she was shocked to see her blurred-out vagina on screen after the episode aired, with a business associate informing her of what he had seen on the show.
After watching clips online, she says she felt “humiliated and distraught.”
“In their quest for ratings, Defendants have deeply damaged Trent and have caused incredible anguish, self-loathing, contempt and depression,” the suit states.
Claiming that Bravo refused her requests to take down the clips, her suit seeks damages for fraud, unlawful recording, and invasion of privacy.
On Friday, Lewis addressed the lawsuit during his SiriusXM radio show, “Jeff Lewis Live”.
“What worries me now and what is upsetting is that our daughter, at any point in time, for the rest of her life, she has this horrible cloud. People can just Google and they know this entire story,” said Lewis, noting that the lawsuit will not make the terms of the surrogacy agreement public.
“I don’t know what that does to her psyche later,” Edward added. “I was just hoping that was something we as two parents would be able to handle on our own terms. And tell her what we want, not a side that’s crafted by a litigator.”
At one point in the interview, an emotional Lewis broke down in tears. “I feel like I’m going to cry,” he said. “It’s the biggest form of betrayal. It’s sad and it’s upsetting. I’m really trying to focus on the positive things. I’m trying to keep it together.”
Check out these clips from the show, including a special cameo from Radio Andy’s Andy Cohen: