A US man is suing the producers of the show Wife Swap, Walt Disney, and ABC television, for over $10 million after his wife was ‘swapped’ with a gay man.
The Oklahoma man says that when he signed on to the television show he expected to have his wife exchanged for a brief period with another man’s wife, the premise of show. Instead, he was given a gay man’s male partner for the period.
Jeffrey D. Bedford has complained that the experience was so distressing that it caused “physical and mental illness.” He claims that when he held a bible study group for his local church, his ‘gay wife’ brought home a gay activist group.
Bedford has also accused the show’s producers of dubious behaviour, including threatening to withhold the location of his real wife, and insisting that they would not pay for her return home should he try to pull out of the production.
Upon repeated complaint to the producers, he was allegedly told that his wife was leaving him. The distress, he claims, caused him to drop out of a college course in which he was enrolled.
The show’s production company, RDF Media, has denied any unprofessional behaviour, with ABC television saying that the agreement that Bedford signed clearly stated that the swapped spouse could be either female or male.
The episode has not been screened in the US; the network saying that it hasn’t been scheduled yet.