UPDATE: A judge has sided against The Game in his lawsuit against Viacom, according to the Wrap. “Viacom is correct. Courts have held that the ‘creation of a television show,’ including the ‘writing, casting, and broadcasting’ of a television show, is an exercise of free speech,” the ruling reads.
The Game has filed a $20 million negligence lawsuit against Viacom. The rapper recently paid $7.1 million to the company following a sexual assault case in connection to his now-defunct VH1 reality show, She’s Got Game. The rapper, real name Jayceon Taylor, alleges Viacom failed to protect him against contestant Priscilla Rainey, who accused Taylor of sexually assaulting her during an “after hours date,” according to the Hollywood Reporter.
In November 2016, a jury ruled in Rainey’s favor and awarded her $7.1 million. In a new complaint filed Monday in a California federal court, Taylor (the Game) argues that the network failed to ensure contestants were suitable to compete on the program. The suit alleges that Rainey passed a psychological exam during the casting process, but the doctor approved her without seeing court documents detailing her criminal past.
The complaint states that Viacom “chose ratings over protecting the Plaintiff and others,” given that they “had knowledge of Rainey’s violent and extensive arrest history.” It also asserts that “Defendants knew, or should have known, that Rainey was Baker Acted in 2012,” referring to Florida’s Mental Health Act of 1971, which permits the involuntary institutionalization of an individual.
The lawsuit cites multiple “troublesome incidents on the show,” including “acts of intimidation, verbal abuse, as well as instances of physical violence and threats.” These allegedly included Rainey “[threatening] to cut off the hair of another contestant while she slept.”
“In November 2016, a jury ordered Mr. Taylor to pay more than $7 million as a result of his actions against a former contestant of an unscripted television series produced by a third party,” a rep for Viacom said in a statement to Rolling Stone. “He is now seeking to shift the burden of his damages to Viacom through a misdirected legal action that is totally without merit. We will work with the production partner on this series to vigorously defend against this claim.”
A rep for the Game declined to comment on the suit.
In addition to his claims of negligence, the 1992 rapper also brought counts for negligent misrepresentation, negligent misrepresentation, negligent infliction of emotional distress and breach of fiduciary duty.