A Little Slice of Survivor History – Spoilers, Lawsuits, and Threats – Oh My! by NMD
Survivor. Filmed on a remote location. Small and trusted crew. Cast and crew signed to confidentiality agreements. Votes cast into a sealed ballot box. Opened on live TV at the finale. Office pools, high stakes bets, and ratings are all on the line to have this secrecy preserved.
Spoilers. Ears to the ground. Watching airports, social media, putting out feelers. Analyzing footage from teasers, looking for buried clues, chat rooms.
In many ways the Survivor spoiler world is a lot like the housewife world. There are sites, blogs, chat rooms devoted to Survivor – and with that comes the associated blogger wars.
It’s all fun and games until someone get sued.
Enter Missyae – or Jim Early. Before Survivor 19 Missyae was just another poster on Survivor Sucks. He learns that Russell Hantz has been on Survivor 19 and calls him up. Russell, as we all know, loves to talk about himself. He talks, and talks, and talks, not just about Season 19 but also Season 20 (Heroes versus Villains). Pretty soon Missyae has the entire two seasons laid out in front of him, and the world of Survivor spoiling is turned on its end. Let’s remember that there were bets in Vegas on this show – so most people with ANY common sense knew how seriously this stuff was taken.
Missyae’s information on Seasons 19 and 20 was so detailed and accurate that it caught the attention of the Mark Burnett, whose company filed a lawsuit against Missyae or Jim Early. Eventually the lawsuit was dropped. Yesterday Jim released some of the correspondence that was going on behind the scenes on his Survivor Whispers facebook page: I’ve pasted it in just like Jim posted it, so it is not exactly in a logical flow. But the gist of it is that a lawsuit was threatened against Jim Early but he wasn’t sure who was behind it, or how real it was. When he named his source as Russell, Russell denied being the source, and apparently Jeff Probst believed Russell. Russell tried to lay the blame on someone else. Jim Early released emails to TMZ and eventually the lawsuit was dropped. In the meantime, Jim alleges that Russell said he was helped by production to advance in the game. I think the part that flabbergasts me is that even with all of this Russell’s nephew was put on the show (not once but twice) and his brother was put onto Big Brother. Both had to leave because of major meltdowns and physical violence. And Russell was asked back for a third time.
Today there is still a war being waged on who learns what spoilers first in the world of survivor. According to Jim Early, the worst leaks are the loose lipped cast themselves. I suppose the days of keeping this stuff a secret are long gone as long as the casts are pulled from a small pool of ex-cast and other actors, models, and associated folks.
The following was cut and paste from the Survivor Whispers Premiere web page and all credit goes to Jim Early. NMD.
First, let me apologize for taking so long getting back to you. As I’m sure you can appreciate, my client was very busy over the holidays, and we’ve also been working on tracking down additional sources of leaks of confidential information, including some recent female contestants on the show.
We very much appreciate your assistance and cooperation thus far. At this point, rather than continue with litigation against you, we intend to focus on the information pointing to your source, and also on additional sources of leaks revealed to us from other avenues of investigation. For these reasons, we intend to dismiss the case here in California against you without prejudice later this week. I’ll send you a copy of the notice when it is filed. As we will be dismissing this matter without prejudice, we will have (and fully reserve) the right to restart legal proceedings against you if you reveal confidential information in the future. This includes not only posting on the Internet, but any publication or dissemination of confidential information.
Of course, feel free to contact me if you have any questions.
Jim also posted some correspondence from “Black Whale” to “The Game” (The Game is Jim Early).
From: Black Whale
To: The Game
Jurisdiction or not, I can’t figure out what the hell the legal basis is to target you??? You’re not contractually obligated to them…. Spoilers are older than Survivor itself. People do it with scripted shows too! It’s just a part of the industry….It just baffles me that you get served the papers while the people who signed contracts to protect the trade secrets went bragging to anyone who would listen as soon as they got home from season 20.
From: Black Whale
To: “The Game”
Date: Friday, December 31, 2010, 8:09 PM
They have not. Sorry for what you’re going through. I know we had our little spat but you were and are the superior spoiler – sources for 20 were not as sharp for 21. The info I received at the time was minimal and I wanted to run with it. From what I understand you went to great lengths and put in lots of effort for 21. CBS should be grateful to you – you’ve put in a lot more effort than their editing or challenge department. Its drummed up interest in a show that relies very heavily on its core fanbase.
Then there were a series of emails from Jim Early to the Attorney – trying to figure out who was threatening him with a lawsuit.
Here is some correspondence to the attorney
To: XXXX XXXXXX (ATTORNEY)
I just looked at the link you sent me, that was not my information XXXX, I was reposting what I saw on a website, thats why you see in my next posting refer to someone else as having already posted the same information I did.
There have been crew come back and post pictures of behind the scenes stuff before. I even told you about that earlry on in our discussions. I dont even have those pictures anymore because actually they did not give away any spoilerish stuff about the game.
Lots of times one just needs to be observant. Mark gives away stuff in vidcaps, you can see tribal swaps, colors of buffs. He used to change the colors and we started calling it a ‘buffomatic’ machine. He used to try to trip up spoilers, he sorta played games with us. Then he seemed to lose interest in it.
That info you asked about on that link is not my info, if it was, I would gladly claim it.
Your client needs to stop all the viewing parties where ex players attend with current players. The ex players always get info out of the current players and then the ex players go post it, such as Eliza Orlins on Survivor Sucks. She is very bad about posting pictures of those parties too. I guess when you client does not say anything to them, they think its okay. Its not, right?
I have actually warned players to NOT attend things like that. I have warned players to NOT attend those reality tv functions. Like I said, I warned Russell to NOT post on Survivor Sucks and I told you what he told me.
He also loves to dictate exactly what I posted, word for word. Thats why many, many posters thought I was Melanie Hantz._____
To: xxxx xxxxxxx (attorney)
You wanted info and I told you I would give it to you if you back off. I am gonna go one step further and give you that info and see how trustworthy you are. If you wanted what you claimed to want, you can take this info and go make your example out of him.
If you don’t do anything with this info then I know you cut a shady deal with him and have just been playing games with me and I promise you, this info is going public today.
Russell Hantz is your biggest problem ever.
When he created a fake name at the Yuku board Survivor SUCKS and was posting to fans during the time his shows were airing, it was me who was able to talk the moderator into deleting the entire topic and thread within a matter of seconds. CBS called him around midnight and told him to get rid of it and he called me and I got rid of it for him.
I had even asked him, “won’t you get in trouble for doing this” and he said “he had better lawyers than CBS”. He asked me directions on how to start the thread and I walked his wife Melanie though the process.
Now, you either take this info and some e-mails I can provide from him and leave me alone or I am going public and letting the world know how you have harassed me and refused what you claim to have wanted. If you continue on with me in any other manner, I will also reveal things he has said about ‘being helped’ by cameramen and crew to advance himself in the game which constitutes cheating and is a FCC violation.
I will also tell you if you are looking to try and pin stuff on upper level management or your client’s staff, I cannot help you as I have never spoken with anyone like that.
Respond with your answer by 5:00 p.m. or you can read about it all over the internet and entertainment channels tomorrow.________
I have been upfront and honest with you since the first day you started calling me my home telephone with your threats.
Again, to my knowledge I am not under the state of California’s jurisdiction. Part of what makes me believe that is the blank form you sent to me back in November requesting for me to sign and give jurisdiction to the state of California. It makes no sense to continue to dance around that topic and send blank forms wanting me to sign off and agree to the state of California having jurisdiction and attorneys agreeing if it is already in place. Even if it is, good luck with it.
You told me in your last e-mail that I did receive notice to my house, all I received at my house was yet another blank document where you did not have dates or times filled in for a deposition. The other things you claim I received at my home, I didn’t. So no, I didn’t lie about that nor did I make it, nor am I incorrect about it. I know what I have.
I told you before there is no way in the world I can make the date on December 8, 2010. If you file a motion or send me more e-mail trying to tell me I have to be there, then you Mr. XXXXXXX lied, not I. You asked if that date was okay and I have told you, NO, it is not okay.
I have been upfront and honest with you, even through your bullying and threatening tactics which have all been noted. Everyone will know I offered you a very fair deal and giving you the biggest leak in the history of spoiling, complete with proof. You turned it down.
You have come at me after years and years of other people spoiling reality tv shows, including your client’s. There have been many spoilers over the years. There have been websites dedicated to spoiling that show. There have been spoilers write books about it, many interviews from spoilers over the years and yet you have somehow decided to single me out and make me ‘the example’ your client promised his cast of 22 he would do.
If you had just come to me and wanted the spoiling to stop, it could have. You want me to become your client’s detective and prosecutor. I honestly think that is his job, not mine. I don’t work for him, I have no contracts with him, and it’s not my job. If you are under the impression he has leaks within his crew or management staff, he does not as far as I know. If you are looking for information like that, I cannot help you no matter what you or I do.
I told you how to stop the leaks, you didn’t wanna listen.
So the only thing at this point I am sure of is that you want me to be ‘the example’ he promised his cast he would have.
Now if you think for one minute that I am gonna sit here and let you bulldoze me and pressure me into not talking and getting my story out. Then on top of that, you taking me down when your client has the leaks, not me, you are mistaken. My story is gonna get out if you continue with this.
So take that risk. I have been honest with you. The fans will leave the show over this. I am innocent. You said you didn’t want me, you wanted my help. Well, it’s my name on the frivolous suit now. It’s me you keep badgering and threatening. I still have not forgotten your smart remark about why you didn’t ask for my son in all of this. I have that one saved too, I doubt a judge would find that amusing coming from an officer of the court, I mean you do love to toss that statement around don’t you, “I am an officer of the court”. Gotcha, kudos to you. I know your friends are proud of you. I doubt a judge would be.
Bottom line Mr. XXXXXXX
1. You asked if the date was bad, I have notified you, yes it is.
2. There is no lawyer assigned to this case from this end
3. You lied when you said you wanted to work this out
4. You are dodging the jurisdiction topic for a reason
5. If you continue after me, you will not get the info you claim to want
6. I will go to the media, I have played nice so far, I am tired of it now though, too many outlets wanna run this story and are just waiting for me to say, “go”.
If you still want the primary leak and proof, no problem. Because the info all begins and ends with that one person. Without that person, there would have been no internet sensation called Missyae.______________
I will not be attending your meeting in Memphis, Tennessee on December 18, 2010 for a number of reasons. First and foremost, to the best of my knowledge, neither the state of California nor the state of Tennessee has jurisdiction over me in this frivolous lawsuit.
Secondly, December happens to be my busiest month of the year with other matters and even if I wanted to attend to meet with you it would be impossible due to other commitments.
Therefore if you choose to travel to Memphis, Tennessee for a meeting with me on December 18, 2010 it will be at your expense because you have been notified I will not be attending.
As to other documents you claim I have received from you or your associates, that has not happened. I have not received them.
Jim Early______Jim “They didn’t like how I was continuing to spoil even after their threats”Correspondence from the Attorney to Jim:
I think there is some confusion about what I said on your end, and if you’d like to call me to discuss, I’m happy to do so. To clarify, you have repeatedly said to me that you would “go public” if a settlement is not reached. In response to that, I told you we were less concerned about you “going public” in light of your ongoing postings and the frustration they are causing to the settlement process. That does not mean we do not care, and as I said again below, it is a condition of reaching any settlement that you do not go to “the media.”
Please let me know if you have any questions. Thanks.___________Game [mailto:firstname.lastname@example.org]
Sent: Tuesday, November 02, 2010 1:07 PM
To: XXXX XXXXXXX
Subject: Re: Telephone call with CBS representative
No, I am not interested now. According to the Secretary of States office in California, DJB inc is owned by James Mark Burnett.
Its odd Mr. Block is not handling this though.
So no, dont call, I wont answer. I know who they are. All you had to do was be upfront and honest with me like I was with you instead of playing silly games.
I know its Mark Burnett. So stop thinking you are dealing with someone who is incompetent.
If you had asked for that information, I could have just given it to you — but as you note, it’s easily available on the Internet. Your concerns were not clear, and I assumed you wanted some confirmation that CBS itself was involved, since that is not apparent from the face of the complaint. In any event, since you are already aware that the lawsuit is legitimate, I assume this alleviates your concerns about it being a “trick.”
Thanks for getting back to me. If you have any further specific questions, feel free to ask, and I will do my best to respond promptly.
Earlier you expressed some doubt as to whether CBS was really behind the lawsuit pending here in California. In an attempt to try to alleviate some of your concerns, I’ve arranged to have you speak with Lura Burton, who is Senior Vice President and Associate General Counsel for CBS Broadcasting. This would not be an extended discussion, and the purpose of the call would be to assure you that CBS does, in fact, have a relationship with DJB, Inc., and that the lawsuit is not an attempt to “trick” you into providing information under false pretenses.
Ms. Burton is available for a call today until 2 p.m. California time, and between 3:30 and 5:30 California time. If those times don’t work, we can try to find a time for you to talk to her tomorrow.
Please let me know if you’re interested in speaking with Ms. Burton, and I will arrange the call.
I honestly don’t know what else I can do for you at the moment, but I again encourage you to consult with your lawyer before you make this situation worse. If you have some example of me not being “forthright,” I’d appreciate you letting me know. I am also not sure what you mean by your claim that I am “threatening” you, since all I have asked is for you to stop making threats yourself.
You may have made up your mind to breach your agreement with us, but I believe it would make sense for you to wait to see the draft final agreement, and see how the next few days play out, before you do anything drastic. It is unlikely my client will be willing to enter any settlement with you if you “go public,” as you have threatened to do._________Then there is a series of correspondence from Russell to Jim:
NO VISITS, NO TRUCK_________—Original Message—–
From: The Game <email@example.com>
To: firstname.lastname@example.org <email@example.com>
Sent: Tue, Oct 6, 2009 2:38 pm
Subject: Re: Fainting
So how does that have anything to do with a prior situation for him? High blood
But Russell S is the one who faints – Dude I never know what you are saying yes
to. Sorry but you are hard to read lol.
So – yes – means Russell S. is the one who faints. Yesfirstname.lastname@example.org
YES AND YES LOL________
Ashley Trainer I promise you will be forgettable, 3 years from now people won’t even remember her name or remember who she was. Right now she is just a dumbass girl in evil Russell’s dumbass alliance so her fame starts and ends with me..lol______Final words from Jim Early: That’s all for now, just a little slice of Survivor history that would have never even came out had Russell not tried to blame an innocent person and JP want to sue that innocent person cause he believed Russell’s BS______Final words from NMD – and we thought the world of housewives and bloggers was messed up – LOL!