A contestant on an MTV reality dating show has claimed that the producers medicated her and then sat back and did nothing as she was sexually assaulted on camera.
Gianna Hammer, 25, appeared in the fifth series of Are You The One, filmed in the Dominican Republic in 2016.
In the show, a group of men and women are secretly paired into couples by producers, via a matchmaking algorithm. If they pair up correctly, according to the algorithm’s results, they split the $1 million prize between them.
‘I guess I really thought about it and was like: ‘Wow, that was really f***** up,’ Hammer said, explaining why she had decided to come forward now.
‘They should have never left me in an unsafe position. I’m definitely a changed person after it all.’
Gianna Hammer, a contestant on an MTV reality dating show, has claimed that the producers medicated her and then sat back and did nothing as she was sexually assaulted on camera
Hammer is pictured with her fellow contestants in 2016, filming in the Dominican Republic
Hammer told The Daily Beast that she was on medication for anxiety, which she was supposed to take in the evening right before bed, and avoid mixing with alcohol.
The show’s doctor, however, recommended she take it first thing in the morning.
During one evening, she told the site, she became extremely drunk, and the producers gave her some of the medication to calm her down.
‘Three producers said that I needed to calm down and that they were going to give me one of my medications,’ she said.
‘This part of the night is something I remember more clearly than anything else.
‘I know that my castmates said that I kept telling them: ‘I’m not supposed to do this when I’m drinking. I’m not supposed to do this when I’m drinking.’
‘They still said it was OK, they said it wasn’t a high enough dosage or something. So, I took it.’
Hammer, seen in her hometown of Cleveland, Ohio, said she was blackout drunk on the show
She was put to bed and passed out, and only learnt in the morning that others saw a male contestant on top of her, and heard her saying ‘no’.
They pulled her from the bed.
Hammer told the site that she was made to sign a non-disclosure agreement, and the producers promised not to air the footage.
However, she claims that other contestants were later show it.
She said they asked her if she wanted the male contestant removed from the show, but felt pressured to say no, and so he remained – with the pair of them banned from alcohol.
‘I kind of just sat there,’ Hammer said. ‘I was really just shaking. I didn’t know how to react to that situation.
‘Immediately after that, I think we had a pause, and then their next question was, ‘Do you want him kicked out, kicked off the show?’
‘I sat there, not even answering right away. I was staring at them, like, you just told me that this happened and I don’t remember it, now you want me to make this decision?’
Hammer, shocked, said she asked the producers what they thought should happen.
‘They made this comment, saying, ‘He flew all the way out here, we did all this testing for him, he has a perfect match in this house, it would be a lot to send him back, he’d have to spend the rest of the time in a hotel by himself.’
Her fellow contestants Hayden Weaver and Tyranny Todd told The Daily Beast they were aware that Hammer was given a double dose of her medication.
Tyranny Todd, 27, told The Daily Beast that she remembered the night Hammer was assaulted
Hayden Weaver, who began dating Hammer after the show, corroborated Hammer’s story
Weaver and Hammer are pictured together. The couple began dating after the show, but have now split up. They share a son together
Weaver, with whom Hammer now has a son, although they are no longer together, said he saw the producers giving her the pill to take, even though she had been drinking.
Todd described Hammer as ‘in and out of consciousness’ after taking the medicine, adding that she ‘was drunk as hell, you can literally see her barely just getting it together.’
Todd, now 27, said she saw the male cast member on top of Hammer.
‘I’m just like, what the f***?’ Todd said.
‘We went over there to try to get him off of her because we were like: ‘This is weird.’
‘I remember just always being really, really mad because we knew that Gianna was taken advantage of.
‘I can remember it clear as day, he was on top of her and to turn around, like: ‘What the f***? This is not cool.’
Hammer said she has mixed feelings about the male contestant, who others say was also very drunk.
‘I didn’t know how to feel about it and there’s still a part of me that I still don’t know how to feel about it,’ Hammer said.
‘I do have anger for him, but I guess I just won’t ever feel like he had a malicious intention.
‘I don’t think this was something he planned to do.’
The show aired in January 2017.
Shortly before, Weaver, who began dating Hammer after filming, emailed their MTV representative Lauren Zins, telling her about the assault and questioning if Lighthearted Entertainment had ever flagged it to MTV.
Zins, who is currently Vice President of Talent and Casting at MTV, responded in an email that Weaver and Hammer felt was dismissive.
‘This is personal for us,’ Weaver wrote to Zins. ‘Not one apology, ever. They just wanted us to forget it ever happened. And that’s now what we are trying to do.
‘I am speaking up because Gianna is too scared and ashamed about the situation to talk in depth. Not one apology, ever. So, between those incidents and the further drama we are dealing with this cast, we just cannot do this.’
Hammer is pictured with other cast members from the MTV show
Gianna Hammer, 25, has alleged that she was sexually assaulted during filming in 2016
Zins replied with what Hammer described as a ‘nasty email’ back.
‘I am not a magician, I can’t erase the past,’ she wrote in the email, read by The Daily Beast.
She then said the pair should seriously consider taking part in the cast reunion, which they did – but then regretted, after another contestant was apparently shown the footage of Hammer’s assault.
An MTV spokesperson told The Daily Beast in a statement: ‘We take these issues very seriously and have paused production/casting to conduct an independent investigation into the allegations, the third party production company and further review our internal safety protocols.’
The production company, Lighthearted Entertainment, said it welcomes an investigation and ‘will cooperate with full transparency.’
‘We are confident that any review will confirm the safety procotols [sic] that we have long had in place on the sets of Are You The One?,’ the statement reads in part.
‘We deny the allegations made by the former contestant; throughout the eight seasons of the show, no contestant has reported an incident of sexual assault to Lighthearted.’
MTV has now pulled this season from streaming platforms.
DailyMail.com has approached MTV and Lighthearted Entertainment for comment.
Hammer said she has only recently felt confident enough to detail her story.
‘I spent all these years not saying anything while it aired and while it was still fresh in everyone’s minds because I was scared,’ she said.
‘I might as well just come out with it and share my experience.
‘It’s lifted a lot off my shoulders. I felt like it’s not something that I have to carry on my back in secret or feel ashamed that it happened.’