A former contestant on the Spanish edition of Big Brother was on trial today for allegedly sexually assaulting a female contestant on the show while it was being filmed.
The case, which is being heard in Madrid, revolves around an alleged sexual assault that took place during Jose Maria López’s show on Carlota Prado, his girlfriend at the time after an alcohol party in November 2017, when the alleged victim was murdered. in a clear state of intoxication.
While footage of the alleged assault was never aired, the hit show’s producers came under fire for their handling of the incident after they confronted the alleged victim, who was 24 like Jose Maria López at the time, with video evidence of the alleged assault. she was unaware.
Carlota Prado, a contestant on the show’s 2017 series, was called to the Diary Room and told by The Voice about the alleged assault by fellow candidate and friend Jose Maria López.
She had only started dating him after they met at the Big Brother House.
Carlota Prado, a contestant on the show’s 2017 series, was called into the diary room where she was informed by The Voice that she had allegedly been sexually assaulted by co-star Jose Maria López (pictured together)
‘Big Brother’ is a hugely popular reality show in which contestants are locked in a purpose-built house for weeks, with their every move monitored on camera 24 hours a day. Viewers then tune in the participants one by one.
The trial was set to begin in February, but it was postponed because the alleged victim, Carlota Prado, was struggling with her mental health and did not feel fit to testify at the time.
Prado has reportedly since dropped her charges against the man, Jose Maria Lopez, who faces up to two years in prison if convicted of assault.
Prosecutors are also seeking a €6,000 (£5,234) fine for Mr Lopez and the Spanish production company that created the reality TV show.
Prosecutors say Mr Lopez took advantage of the fact that Ms Prado was “in a semi-conscious state” and “continued to touch, rub and make other obvious sexual movements” while lying under a duvet.
In footage captured by the TV show, prosecutors said Ms Prado muttered “I can’t” and “raised her hand twice as if to tell him to stop.”
After about ten minutes, when she pushed the comforter aside, the production crew realized she was unconscious and intervened. Mr Lopez was subsequently taken off the show.
Ms Prado, who had no idea of the events that had transpired in bed the night before, was later shown a video of Mr López showing her
The alleged victim only became aware of the alleged assault when the producers showed her the footage the next morning, causing her to collapse.
The story became public two years after the alleged attack, when the news website El Confidencial published footage of producers showing her the clips.
Mrs. Prado, who had no idea of the events that had transpired in bed the night before, was later shown a video of Mr. López with her unconscious.
She found the video playing on the diary room screen disturbing and asked, “Please, Super, stop now, please.”
The scene was shot two years ago by production company Zeppelin and was never broadcast on TV.
Program bosses called in Civil Guard agents after kicking Mr. López off the show.
According to the digital newspaper El Confidencial, after showing the footage, Ms Prado was not allowed to tell her fellow contestants what had happened, but was instead asked to leave the show immediately temporarily.
Ms Prado decided not to ratify the complaint and returned to the Big Brother house five days later.
Footage of the incident was handed over to police at the time of the alleged assault.
Under Spanish law, sexual abuse cannot be considered rape unless perceived violence or intimidation has occurred.
Program bosses called in Guardia Civil agents after they expelled Mr. López from the show
After the producers who showed her the clip were revealed, several companies started promoting the Spanish version of the show.
At the time, the Madrid regional MP for the left-wing Podemos party called Beatriz Gimeno to investigate the show producers.
She said: ‘The producers should be investigated for failing to fulfill their duty to rescue the victim, which is a criminal offence.
“They were thinking about the show itself. Producers seem to think that if something is on TV, it’s not real.
“What happened here is very clearly real.”
Big Brother global producer Endemol Shine Group expressed regret at Ms Prado’s knowledge of the incident.
It read, “In retrospect, we regret that the conversation in which Carlota was informed took place in the diary room environment.”
It added that she received psychological support after the alleged assault.