“Mr. Hartwell’s involvement in season 2 of Love is Blind lasted less than one week,” a rep for the production company told Us Weekly on Thursday, July 14. “Unfortunately, for Mr. Hartwell, his journey ended early after he failed to develop a significant connection with any other participant. While we will not speculate as to his motives for filing the lawsuit, there is absolutely no merit to Mr. Hartwell’s allegations.
Kinetic Content concluded its statement by revealing that “we will vigorously defend against these claims.”
The company’s response comes just one day after the Chicago native filed a lawsuit making serious allegations about how Netflix and its producers treated cast members of the reality series.
In the court documents obtained by Us on Wednesday, July 13, the University of Michigan alum alleged that “the only drinks that [the show] regularly provided to the cast were alcoholic beverages, soft drinks, energy drinks and mixers,” further claiming that “hydrating drinks such as water were strictly limited to the cast during the day.”
The paperwork also alleged that cast members were not allowed to contact their friends and family upon arrival. “At times, defendants left members of the cast alone for hours at a time with no access to a phone, food, or any other type of contact with the outside world until they were required to return to working on the production,” the docs read.
Hartwell’s attorney, Chantal Payton of Payton Employment Law, PC, of Los Angeles, also claimed in a statement on Wednesday that the show “intentionally underpaid the cast members, deprived them of food, water and sleep, plied them with booze and cut off their access to personal contacts and most of the outside world,” making the contestants “hungry for social connections and altered their emotions and decision-making.”
Hartwell was among the 30 cast members selected for season 2 of Love Is Blind, which started streaming earlier this year. After failing to find love, however, he ultimately wasn’t featured on the show and moved out following the pod phase of the experiment.
In February, the financial services director shared “an excerpt from my journal after returning from the Love Is Blind pods” via Instagram. The entry describes his experience on the show as “surreal and somewhat disconnected as if I were caught in the current of a river that suddenly arose around me.“
Hartwell captioned the post by writing, “Filming Love Is Blind was one of the most intense and memorable events of my life and thanks to journaling and reflection, it remains an experience that I’m at peace with, regardless of the ups and downs.”
The UMass alum also added that he had “no regrets” about not being part of the group that went on to get engaged no the series, noting that those who didn’t progress past the pods still “had an incredibly rich experience.”