Ex-Beauty Queen Sues Disney/ABC for “Wife Swap” Episode: Claims show “maximize [Guastaferro’s] public embarrassment.”
Teen beauty queen portrayed as spoiled brat on ‘Wife Swap’ files $100M lawsuit
BY Jose Martinez
DAILY NEWS STAFF WRITER
A teen beauty portrayed as a beast on ABC’s “Wife Swap” filed a $100 million lawsuit against the network, charging the reality show is a sham.
Alicia Guastaferro, 18, says she has panic attacks and suicidal tendencies because of her 2008 appearance, in which she memorably berated her mom and sniffed, “I do feel sorry for people that are not gorgeous people.”
The show, which dispatched her mother to another family, made Guastaferro the object of ridicule among her western New York peers and forced her to transfer schools, the suit claims.
In a clip from her episode, Guastaferro was introduced as the “princess of pageantry” as pictures flashed of her in a tiara and pageant gowns.
“If you don’t have the best clothes, the best hair and makeup and the best tan, you’re not gonna win the pageant,” she haughtily said in a trophy-filled room.
The suit says producers ordered Guastaferro to “act a little more spoiled” and staged scenes, including one in which her dad spray-tans her legs. They allegedly even manufactured scenes to make her look bratty, highlighting how her mom supposedly does her homework and keeps a Christmas tree year-round to give her daily presents.
“[Guastaferro] does not receive a present every day,” the suit says.
The blond beauty also objected to a scene in which she snorted at a breakfast delivered by her mother, Karen. “That was not your best cereal,” the teen growls.
Guastaferro claims she has gotten death threats and been assaulted, and went from the honor roll to being a special-ed student after the show aired.
The suit says her mother agreed to be on “Wife Swap” for $20,000, but ABC and Disney never obtained the teen’s consent. A Walt Disney representative could not be reached, and Guastaferro’s lawyer did not return calls.