“Flipping Out” star Jeff Lewis was hit with a massive setback in his legal battle with his surrogate after a judge denied the reality star’s plea to seal the lawsuit from the public.
According to court documents obtained by The Blast, a judge ordered that Lewis’ legal battle with the woman who gave birth to his daughter will go to a jury trial.
The order states that his motion to compel arbitration and to stay the entire lawsuit were denied. The judge scheduled the trial to begin next year and informed Lewis and the surrogate to begin preparing for court.
Earlier this year, the reality star, his partner, Bravo Media and the producers behind “Flipping Out” were sued by a woman named Alexandra Trent.
Trent was the surrogate for Jeff Lewis and his partner, Gage Edward, back in 2016. She gave birth to their daughter last year, which was documented on the Bravo show.
The surrogate appeared on multiple episodes over two seasons and the show filmed the birth of Lewis’ child inside the delivery room. Trent met the couple through a classified ad and did not originally know she would be on the show.
When Trent agreed to be the surrogate, she did consent to the filming of certain pre-birth moments but alleges she never agreed to film in the delivery room.
The woman accused the producers of filming her vagina without permission. Further, she took issue with Lewis and his partner of humiliating her by making “disgusting” comments about her during the episode. Lewis said during on the show, “If I was a surrogate, and I had known there was going to be an audience, I probably would have waxed.”
Trent sued seeking unspecified damages for invasion of privacy and fraud and claimed the comments made her suffer anguish, self-loathing and depression.
Jeff Lewis, his partner, Bravo and the show’s producers responded to the lawsuit and denied every allegation of wrongdoing in the complaint. He claims Trent signed an agreement that specified that any disputes were to be heard in private arbitration.
Lewis says his surrogate voluntarily participated in the show and before she ever filmed or was even mentioned on the program, she signed away her rights to ever sue Lewis or producers.
The case remains ongoing.