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“Gran Hermano”: the trial for the rape in front of the cameras of the Spanish “Big Brother” is suspended


The trial of a participant in the reality TV show Gran Hermano (the Spanish “Big Brother”), accused of having sexually assaulted another candidate in 2017, opened this Tuesday, February 8 in Madrid before be suspended due to the complainant’s state of health.

The lawyer for the latter submitted to the court a “report concerning psychiatric problems” of his client, who did not appear at the hearing because she was “not in a position to be able to answer”, indicated to AFP a spokesperson for the judicial authorities, who could not indicate when this trial would resume.

The facts at the center of this case took place during the filming in 2017 during season 18 of Gran Hermano, a program broadcast by Telecinco, the most watched channel in Spain, which consists of locking a group of people in a house and to film them permanently, while making successively eliminate the candidates by the televiewers.

The complainant had accused another participant – with whom she had been in a relationship for “about fifty days”, according to the prosecution – of having raped her under the eyes of the cameras, while she was “in a state of inebriation (…) patent”.

According to the prosecution, the accused, prosecuted “for an offense of sexual abuse”, “proceeded, under the quilt, to touching, rubbing and movements of a strongly sexual nature, undressing the victim (…) then that she was already in a state of unconsciousness”.

The young woman had “twice raised her hand as if to ask him to stop”, and had “stammered ‘I can’t'”, wrote the prosecution in a press release. After ten minutes, when the young woman had lifted the duvet, “one of the production members in charge of viewing the videos had intervened” seeing the “inert state” of the complainant.

The production also incriminated

The production of the Spanish Big Brother had at the time done everything to avoid spreading the word about the scandal. Behavior that raises questions. Because not only had she not intervened immediately at the time of the events, but she had also subsequently imposed on the victim the viewing of the images, by surprise, by summoning her, alone, to the “confessional”, and by filming her reactions while talking to him through loudspeakers. “Please give me a tranquilizer, my heart is beating at 1,000…”, she had begged completely collapsed. As she asked unsuccessfully to leave the room, a voice had asked her to remain silent on the matter: “Carlota, this subject, for José Maria and for you, for the good of both of you, should not not get out of here. »

These images had not been released to the public and the affair only broke out two years after the shooting, when in November 2019, the news site El Confidencial revealed that the young woman had been made to comment, the next day, the scene facing the camera in the so-called “confessional” room.

Shockingly, the video of this interrogation was then revealed online and showed the candidate nervous and in tears, begging to stop broadcasting the images. “There should have been a psychologist or someone on my side to help me deal with these harsh images. They never asked me if I wanted to see this… I would have said no,” she said in the article.

The candidate had been expelled from the show and Endemol Shine Group, owner of the company producing the show, had in 2019 “regretted that the conversation” during which the young woman “was informed took place in the confessional”.

The complainant also explained that the production had at the time transferred her to a hotel in Madrid, where she had been held for several days, without access to television or her telephone, as Le Figaro recalled. “They took me to a hotel and Pilar Blasco (CEO of Endemol Shine Iberia, editor’s note) told me that they would keep me for a few days so that I could see psychologists,” she said.

She had subsequently finally decided to return to the show, “because I did not have the courage to face reality. You live in an alternate world and are somehow protected. It was very difficult, but I thought it would be less difficult than facing the reality from the outside”, she had considered.

After the scandal, the show’s traditional advertisers, at least twenty large companies including Nestlé, Schweppes, Nissan, L’Oréal and the BBVA bank, had stopped broadcasting their campaigns on the Telecinco channel.

Benjamin Mendy was released on conditions in early January.

The prosecution requested two and a half years in prison, as well as 6,000 euros in damages against the accused. The same sum was claimed from the production for the damage caused to the victim by showing him the sequence.