A transgender queen who co-hosted MTV’s dating show Catfish has opened up about her “traumatic” experience filming for the popular series — revealing how she was humiliated by the producers who helped throw her at the center of a revenge plot 20 years in the making.
In an exclusive interview with DailyMail.com, Sham Ibrahim revealed shocking behind-the-scenes details about what it was really like to shoot the show – days after the dramatic episode aired, she revealed how she ended up in a shouting match with host Nev Shulman and got into a physical fight with someone What’s on set.
Sham’s Catfish nightmare began after she reached out to the MTV show — which sees hosts Nev, 38, and Kamie Crawford, 30, help people who are in online relationships with partners they’ve never met. The hosts play amateur detectives who help determine whether the romance is genuine or fake.
For Sham, that romance was with a guy named Phillip, whom she met on Snapchat. Philip was – as far as Cham was concerned – attractive and well-spoken, and eager to see where the relationship might go in the future.
A transgender contestant on Catfish has opened up about her hellish experience filming the hit MTV dating show
In an exclusive interview with DailyMail.com, Sham Ibrahim revealed shocking behind-the-scenes details about filming the show — hosted by Nev Schulman and Cammy Crawford.
Sham ended up having a horrific on-air confrontation with an ex-acquaintance who created a catfishing Snapchat account to get revenge on her for sleeping with his ex.
After hearing about Phillip from Cham, a friend reached out to the catfish producers – hoping to prove that Phillip was who he claimed to be. Unfortunately, it was not.
In reality, as it turns out, Phillip was an ex-acquaintance of Sham named Mike, who had been dreaming up romances all over the Internet as part of a sinister revenge plot to get back at Sham for his experience with an ex-lover 20 years earlier.
Mike’s cruel prank was revealed during a sham episode of the show, which aired last week, as Catfish cameras captured the terrifying moment Mike gleefully revealed himself as “Philip.”
The moment — which was featured in the episode — showed a horrified Sham leaving her mouth open in shock as Mike brags about his deception, telling her, “You’ve always wanted a prince.” Well here I am.
It’s me, your old friend Mike. I’m Philip. I did it all, of course I did.
He continued, “I told you I’d take you back, girl.” I told you. I stole my boyfriend in Mexico. I told you, I said, “Don’t take my boyfriend.” And you took it anyway. You are evil and you are a whore.
I told you I would take you back. You can’t get rid of a friend who’s been with you for 20 years.
Though the show captured the harrowing confrontation between Sham and Mike — she says the cameras stopped rolling before things took a real lewd turn, admitting that she ended up throwing Mike into the pool outside the house where they met, a moment that didn’t make it into the episode. Last.
While Sham’s on-screen confrontation with her ex-girlfriend was humiliating, she says things were worse behind the scenes, admitting she ended up having a physical altercation with him.
Sham also admitted that she got into a shouting match with host Neff, 38 (seen center), because she was convinced he knew it was going to get set.
Sham says she also ended up in a shouting match with host Nev, who she assumed was purposely trying to humiliate her on camera by helping Mike carry out his revenge plot.
“I got into a huge shouting match and argument with Nev,” Sham told DailyMail.com. “Basically, I thought he knew Mike was someone I knew who was trying to humiliate me.”
However, Sham later learned that Nev was just as clueless as she was when it came to Mike’s true identity – adding: ‘Nev had no idea. She has done more than a dozen reality shows. The difference between this is that it is actually not written at all. It’s 100 percent true.
While the reality show’s gritty streak definitely makes it exciting to watch, Sham says it made her experience filming the show miserable.
“The show really had no direction and I wasn’t allowed to film any repeats,” she explained.
There was no hair or makeup. This is also part of their effort to make it as real as possible.
“I am still very shocked.”
“At a time when transgender rights are being stripped away, Nev took the time to really understand me,” says Sham (seen in a selfie with Nev and Cami).
Sham was also not given much opportunity to prepare for her on-camera role, revealing that cameras showed up at her home without warning just a day after she sent her Snapchat messages from “Phillip.”
“Twenty-five cameras showed up at my place without warning,” she recalls. “This was the day after he gave me a copy of my Snapchat that I had, which I thought was Phillip.”
Regardless, Sham isn’t crying over the portioned milk and tells DailyMail.com that he managed to find a silver lining in the whole situation — the fact that Catfish and its producers were accepting of her and the transgender community.
You can clearly see that I am transgender from outer space. This has made dating in my life very difficult because not many people understand it,” Sham told DailyMail.com.
At a time when transgender people are being disenfranchised, they all made a huge concerted effort to make me feel accepted. Nev took the time to really understand me. This means a lot to me.
If everyone put in half the effort that the Catfish crew did, understanding and acceptance of transgender people would change.