Mom Sues 'Escaping Polygamy' Crew for Trespassing, Pressuring Her Daughter to Be Part of the Series

Shanell, Jessica and Andrea from LMN's "Escaping Polygamy" Credit: Karolina Wojtasik/LMN

A Utah mom has sued the production companies behind the LMN (Lifetime Movie Network) reality series Escaping Polygamy, claiming filmmakers barged into her home and offered her daughter money to appear on the show.

The mother, Susan Nelson, alleged in her lawsuit (via the Associated Press) that a cameraman trespassed onto her property in a suburb of Salt Lake City in December 2014. Crew members then filmed the show's stars, former polygamists Jessica Christensen and Shanell DeRieux, making a plea with Nelson's young adult daughter Melanie to leave the home. According to Nelson, Melanie (who was 18 at the time of filming) had agreed to appear on the show for $5,000 an episode.

Escaping Polygamy is centered on Christensen and DeRieux, who left polygamist group the Kingstons more than 10 years ago. They now devote their lives to helping others trapped in a polygamist society. Susan is the second wife of polygamist Daniel Kingston.

Initially, Nelson's daughter agreed to film the show, but had second thoughts about leaving her home the day the crew arrived to take her. Crew members then allegedly barged onto the family's property, and filmed the moment without permission. Even after crew and cast members were asked to leave, they supposedly remained on Nelson's property and even attempted to film her conversation with Melanie through a window.

Nelson's episode aired this past July on the LMN channel, which is owned by A&E. Nelson claims that the producers of the show, RIVR Media, depicted her and her lifestyle in the wrong light — including a claim that the home smelled of rotten food because they couldn't afford more.

A rep for LMN tells Us Weekly they do not comment on pending litigation. RIVR Media also had no comment on the suit. 

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