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registerthis
08-11-2005, 06:01 PM
note bolded sections below. I'm just...in awe.

Taken from: http://news.yahoo.com/s/ap/20050811/ap_en_tv/tv_extreme_makeover_lawsuit


Five Siblings Sue 'Extreme Makeover' Show Thu Aug 11,12:33 PM ET

LOS ANGELES - Five orphaned siblings who received gifts and a new dream home on the hit ABC television show "Extreme Makeover, Home Edition" are suing the network, the company that built the house and the couple who took them in after their parents died.

The lawsuit is rooted in a falling out between the children who range in age from 15 to 22 and the couple, Phil and Loki Leomiti. The children ultimately moved out of the Leomitis' home in Santa Fe Springs, a small city southeast of Los Angeles, and are living separately with friends, said Charles Higgins II, the eldest sibling.

Their complaint, which was filed Wednesday, alleges fraud and breach of contract.

"What we're really seeing is the collision between reality TV and the perception reality TV seeks to create in the minds of the general public," said Patrick Mesisca, the Higginses' lawyer.

ABC said it does not comment on litigation and referred queries to the production companies.

The network, however, said in a statement that "It is important to note that the episode was about the rebuilding of the Leomiti family's existing home to accommodate the inclusion of the five Higgins siblings, whom the Leomitis had invited into their lives following the death of their parents."

People who answered the phone at the Leomitis' home initially said the couple had no comment and later referred questions to ABC and to Endemol USA, the television show's production company.

Endemol publicist Melissa Armstrong said the company had not yet reviewed the claim.

The parents of the Higgins children died 10 weeks apart in the spring of 2004 the mother of breast cancer and the father of heart failure. The Leomitis, who knew the children from church, took them in to their home in July 2004, according to the lawsuit.

Producers of "Extreme Makeover" learned of the children's plight from a television newscast.

Workers demolished the Leomitis' house in February. Pardee Homes replaced it with a 9-bedroom mansion, and show producers arranged for the siblings to receive cars, groceries, computers, stereos, and other gifts.

Pardee paid off the mortgage on the new house but the Leomitis retained the title, according to the lawsuit.

But around the time that the episode first aired in late March, the Higginses moved out. Their lawsuit alleges that the Leomitis engaged in "an orchestrated campaign" to drive them away by insulting them and treating them poorly.

"We were promised a home," said Charles Higgins II. "They broke that promise."

Mesisca, the attorney, acknowledged Wednesday that the siblings were never promised a house in writing. But the network's statements and actions could legally be considered a promise, he said.

The suit seeks unspecified compensatory and punitive damages.

Hooligan
08-11-2005, 06:17 PM
Sad.

RBA
08-11-2005, 06:31 PM
It does bring some question that may or may not need answers. Did the Leomiti family invite them into the house in hopes of being featured on Extreme Makeover and getting a new house? And than drive them away after they got what they wanted (a new house, mortgage paid.) It seems that is what the kids are alledging. But it seems unlikely someone would try such a thing.

Red Leader
08-11-2005, 06:43 PM
It does bring some question that may or may not need answers. Did the Leomiti family invite them into the house in hopes of being featured on Extreme Makeover and getting a new house? And than drive them away after they got what they wanted (a new house, mortgage paid.) It seems that is what the kids are alledging. But it seems unlikely someone would try such a thing.

That does make sense, but then why are these "kids" suing the company that built the house, ABC, and the show. They should be suing the Liomiti family.

LincolnparkRed
08-11-2005, 06:52 PM
The parents of the Higgins children died 10 weeks apart in the spring of 2004 the mother of breast cancer and the father of heart failure. The Leomitis, who knew the children from church, took them in to their home in July 2004, according to the lawsuit.

Producers of "Extreme Makeover" learned of the children's plight from a television newscast.

I think that statement says the show only picked the Liomiti's because they were adopting these kids, It doesn't sound like the Liomiti's came to ABC first in fact it sounds like ABC sought them out.

Roy Tucker
08-11-2005, 06:58 PM
That does make sense, but then why are these "kids" suing the company that built the house, ABC, and the show. They should be suing the Liomiti family.
Sue whoever has the deepest pockets.

Yachtzee
08-11-2005, 08:13 PM
The Liomitis may be "judgment proof," meaning they don't have any money. Really, what are their options? Get a judge to force the Liomitis to take them back in? That doesn't sound like a good idea. Force them to sell the house? Well, they would get some money from that, but how much really? They never had an ownership interest to begin with, even if they were the Liomitis natural-born children, so it will be tough to force the Liomitis to give up the house. If their goal is to get a house where they can all live together, their only choice may be to go after ABC and the show.

REDREAD
08-12-2005, 01:12 AM
I really have a hard time believing that they adopted those 5 kids in hopes of getting on "Extreme Makeover". I mean that's a million to one shot. I have to believe at least at the time of the adoption, they were sincere.

Maybe getting all that money, gifts, etc. made the parents want to live the good life, and drive the kids out, or maybe the living arrangement was supposed to only be temporary to begin with, and the parents held on to the kids a little longer to get the house.

Unassisted
08-12-2005, 01:39 AM
Since the show is successful, they'll get some money to make this go away. This case will never go to trial.

TeamMorris
08-12-2005, 12:55 PM
I really don't know what to think but something just isn't right with this whole thing. I am sure there is a lot more to it that they are not telling us. Who knows, maybe the kids were the ones that turned on the family that took them in.

I have to agree with Unassisted.