Why These Stars Of My 600-Lb Life Are Suing Its Production Company

One of TLC's most popular reality shows is My 600-lb Life, a program that documents the journeys of people who weigh 600 pounds or more; these individuals are ready to take control of their addiction to food and start living their best lives. And while some of the show's stars aren't able to make the changes they need to turn their lives around, fortunately many are, thanks to the help of Dr. Younan Nowzaradan, aka "Dr. Now."

But apparently My 600-lb Life is not without its problems. That became evident when some of the program's cast members filed lawsuits against Megalomedia, the production company that films the show for TLC. Their claims alleged a variety of complaints, including asking patients to say "scripted" lines and committing outright fraud. None of the complaints blame Dr. Now for any of it — just the production company.

So who exactly has filed a lawsuit against Megalomedia? What do their claims say, and what are they asking for? Read on to find out why these stars of My 600-lb Life are suing its production company. 

The family of this My 600-lb Life star alleged that Megalomedia played a role in his death

When James "LB" Bonner made his My 600-lb Life debut in Season 6, he quickly became a fan favorite thanks to his good nature and ability to overcome extraordinary hardship. But sadly, despite losing a tremendous amount of weight and keeping his eye on the future, Bonner took his own life in 2018, according to TMZ. He was only 30.

Several years later, Bonner's family became the first to sue Megalomedia for gross negligence, alleging that they were partially responsible for his death. According to Starcasm, they said Megalomedia refused to pay medical bills that they promised to cover, pressured Bonner into filming when he wasn't ready, and didn't provide him with adequate mental healthcare despite worrying signs. Bonner also attempted to talk to one of the show's production assistants via text, telling her he was in a very dark place, but her only advice was to "fake it till you make it."

Bonner's family is seeking more than a million dollars in damages.

My 600-lb Life's David Bolton said Megalomedia took advantage of him

My 600-lb Life Season 6 star David Bolton was quite a success story, going from 747 pounds to 428 pounds throughout the course of his episode. And by the looks of the photos on his Facebook page, he's dropped even more weight since the cameras stopped rolling, thanks to his hard work.

Despite his dramatic transformation, Bolton became one of the cast members of My 600-lb Life to file a lawsuit against Megalomedia, as noted by Reality Blurb. In the documents, Bolton said the production company put the show's ratings above the well-being of its talent, and provided him with no mental healthcare to process his weight loss. He also alleged that Megalomedia failed to pay his medical costs, in spite of the fact that they said they would, and manipulated his family members to make things look more dramatic than they actually were, which took a "tremendous psychological toll" on him.

Bolton is asking for over a million dollars in damages, and wants a jury trial.

My 600-lb Life star Maja Radanovic said stars are pushed "to the edge of an emotional cliff"

On Season 7 of My 600-lb Life, when viewers were introduced to Maja Radanovic, she weighed nearly 700 pounds. Fortunately she was eventually able to regain control of her diet, losing a significant amount of weight by the time her episode concluded. And judging by her social media photos, she's clearly continuing to make progress on her weight loss journey.

But Radanovic obviously wasn't happy with Megalomedia, as she was third in line with legal gripes about how they treated her during production. Specifically, her lawsuit alleged that they've pushed "unbeknownst participants to the edge of an emotional cliff" in the name of ratings, as noted by Starcasm. That's because Megalomedia allegedly doesn't provide adequate mental healthcare to the show's stars, despite knowing that they're at risk for depression and suicidal thoughts because of their drastic weight loss. Plus Megalomedia didn't cough up the money for Radanovic's healthcare costs, according to the suit, leaving her saddled with debt.

Radanovic also had to fend off bill collectors, which only added to her distress.

My 600-lb Life star Gina Krasley said that Megalomedia was negligent

Not every star of My 600-lb Life serves up a super inspirational story, and the reasons for that can vary dramatically. Unfortunately for Season 8 cast member Gina Krasley, working with Dr. Now proved to be very difficult for her, as she was only able to drop 50 pounds by the time her episode ended. Then after Starcasm reported that she might have participated in an adult film, she understandably scrubbed her social media.

Clearly Krasley felt that she was mistreated on the set of My 600-lb Life, as she was the fourth person to take legal action against its production company. As noted by Starcasm, Krasley's suit claimed that Megalomedia was negligent in four different ways: intentionally causing her distress for ratings, failing to have her counseled before administering a low-calorie diet, not training its employees to spot patients in mental distress, and not providing proper healthcare services while filming.

Krasley also accused Megalomedia of making her eat extra food on camera to make her appear non-compliant.

Jeanne Covey said she was forced to keep filming My 600-lb Life

Jeanne Covey was in dire straits when she started filming her Season 7 episode of My 600-lb Life. But she was willing to do what she had to in order to get to Houston, hopeful to start her weight loss program with Dr. Now. Unfortunately, when her father passed away her efforts, to get healthy were stunted, as she felt like she just didn't have the strength at that time to lose weight. Clearly Covey was distressed.

However, Starcasm revealed that Covey's lawsuit against Megalomedia alleged that there's a lot more to the story. The fifth person to sue the company, Covey alleged they essentially forced her to continue filming after her father died, even though she didn't want to. She also said Megalomedia promised to cover the cost of her mother's hernia surgery to the tune of $70,000, but they never saw a dime of that money.

The lawsuit also alleged that Megalomedia created the narrative that Covey wasn't strong enough for Dr. Now's program.

Dottie Perkins accused Megalomedia of lying about her weight on My 600-lb Life

When Dottie Perkins (now Potts) first started working with Dr. Now in Season 4 of My 600-lb Life, she was a bit combative and resisted following his program at the outset. However, Perkins managed to turn things around by the end of her episode, eventually dropping down to below 300 pounds and getting skin removal surgery by the end of her follow-up episode.

Perkins became the sixth person to take legal action against Megalomedia in spite of her incredible transformation, though, as reported by Starcasm. For one, she said the production company made it look like she was gaining weight on the show when she was actually shedding pounds. Additionally, Perkins is still paying off the medical debt she incurred from three weight loss surgeries, even though she said Megalomedia had agreed to cover those expenses.

Finally, Perkins accused Megalomedia of making her eat unhealthy foods and gain weight so they could get her hospitalized, all for the drama.

My 600-lb Life's Nicole Lewis sued Megalomedia for fraud

When Nicole Lewis' episode of My 600-lb Life debuted during Season 5, it created quite the buzz because of the shower scene; Lewis had become too large to shower indoors, so she bathed out back on the porch. But that didn't last forever, as Lewis was able to lose over 300 pounds by the conclusion of her follow-up episode. She was also approved for skin removal surgery.

Lewis had already filmed additional scenes for another follow-up episode when she became the seventh cast member of My 600-lb Life to sue Megalomedia, this time for outright fraud. According to Starcasm, Lewis said that the production company agreed to pay for her skin removal surgery as well as her rent, but when she tried to find out when the procedure was happening, she got no response. This was despite the fact that she was expected to keep filming whenever they felt like showing up.

My 600-lb Life's Nicole Lewis is also asking for damages, though an amount has not been specified. 

My 600-lb Life's Annjeanette Whaley sued Megalomedia for breaking its promises

Viewers were introduced to Annjeanette Whaley during Season 7 of My 600-lb Life. With a BMI of 128 and weighing in at 679 pounds, Whaley was in dire need of help in order to stop compulsively overeating and to regain control of her life. Fortunately she realized the gravity of her situation and dropped a significant amount of weight by the end of her episode. And that was just the beginning, by the looks of the photos on her Facebook page.

But when Whaley allegedly found herself on the receiving end of broken promises from Megalomedia, she became the eighth person to file suit against them, as noted by Starcasm. According to the documents, Whaley had been forced to pay "thousands of dollars" in medical bills, which she claimed the production company assured her they'd cover. That includes both her weight loss surgery and care from Dr. Now.

Whaley had been filming for a follow-up episode to potentially air in the spring of 2020, but it's unclear if that episode will air in the wake of her lawsuit.

My 600-lb Life star Destinee Lashaee alleged that Megalomedia made her suicidal

When it comes to some of the most dramatic transformations seen on My 600-lb Life, Destinee Lashaee's evolution is arguably one of the most notable in the show's history. Not only did she drop from 669 pounds to 440 pounds by the end of her episode, but she also became much happier in the skin that she's in as a transgender woman. Plus you can see she's dropped even more weight in the photos on her Facebook page.

However, in the ninth lawsuit filed against Megalomedia, Lashaee accused the company of some seriously troubling actions, according to The U.S. Sun. Most egregious is that she alleged staff insisted that she shave her face on camera, which led to Lashaee feeling suicidal. Additionally, Lashaee claimed that, after breaking down and kicking the production team out of her home following the incident, they returned in an attempt to extract more footage.

Lashaee also alleged that when she would push back against Megalomedia's demands, staff would threaten her with legal action.

My 600-lb Life star Alicia Kirgan said Megalomedia faked the mental healthcare she received

By the time that the cameras stopped rolling on Alicia Kirgan, who starred in Season 6 of My 600-lb Life, she had dropped a total of 186 pounds. But judging by the photos you can see on her Facebook page, Kirgan has continued to put in the work in order to live her best life. She's also still with her partner Tim, who only ever wanted to see Kirgan be happy and healthy.

But because Kirgan is looking at thousands of dollars in medical costs due to her weight loss journey, she has become the tenth person to sue Megalomedia, as reported by Starcasm. Kirgan also claimed that the production company only provided her with one therapy session, which she said was, to some extent, "scripted." That's in spite of the fact that she allegedly reached out to Megalomedia for additional healthcare sessions.

Kirgan had been filming a follow-up episode, but it's unclear if TLC will air it in light of her allegations.