An ex-contestant on ‘House Rules’ has won a workers compensation case against the Seven Network for ‘psychological’ injury.
Season five contestant Nicole Prince reportedly suffered a psychological/psychiatric injury during production and consequently, the course of her employment with the network. However, Channel Seven denies claims there was an employment relationship established.
According to Prince’s statement she and her on-screen partner Fiona Taylor were “isolated” from the other teams.
“I felt her harassed and bullied during the filming. This continued throughout all of the renovations. It was not only condoned by the producer, but it was aggravated even encouraged by them,” Prince’s statement reads.
“During every camera interview both myself and Fiona complained on film that we were being subjected to isolation, bullying and harassment by the other teams.”
She also claimed there were physical altercations on set.
“On one occasion I witnessed Fiona be physically assaulted. When I complained to Channel Seven, I was then threatened that Fiona and I would be portrayed negatively.
“True to their threatening words, Channel Seven portrayed Fiona and I as bullies in the episode (edited by Channel Seven) featuring our team which went to air on or around 17 April 2017.
“After our episode was aired I was subjected to online abuse on the Channel Seven Facebook page, including receiving threats of serious physical assault. I have been fearful for my safety ever since.”
It is the unfair editing of the program that has had a lasting impact on Prince’s mental health.
“Since our episode and program aired I have not been able to obtain work and have been informed this was due to how I was portrayed as a bully.
“I am no longer offered interviews for jobs and work, which before my work injury I did not have any trouble obtaining interviews and successfully getting the work and job. I feel devastated and worthless about the loss of my career and working life.
“After my episode aired I wanted to kill myself and I started drinking more alcohol in an attempt to self-medicate my injury.”
Arbitrator Cameron Burge acknowledged that the Seven Network’s failure to remove the hateful comments made by viewers towards Prince and Taylor “has contributed to her injury”.
Seven has been ordered to pay compensation for the cost of Prince’s medical treatment and rehabilitation.
(Source: TV Blackbox)