The operator of a blog who posts alleged "spoilers" about The Bachelor and The Bachelorette reality television programs was sued for a second time for trade secret misappropriation.
Texas resident Stephen Carbone, whose "Reality Steve" blog covers the two programs that air on the Walt Disney Co.'s ABC television network, was previously sued by the reality shows' producers in federal court in Los Angeles in December 2011.
The Bachelor and its spinoff Bachelorette each feature a principal character who chooses a potential marriage partner from among 25 contestants selected by the producers. The identity of the chosen personwho is given the "final rose"isn't revealed until the final show of the series.
In the first suit, the producers claimed Carbone offered at least one participant $2,500 to reveal information about the show.
Although Carbone was sent a cease-and-desist letter in August 2011, and a second in November of that year, he continued to solicit confidential information from participants in the program, according to court papers.
In a statement posted on his website, Carbone acknowledged that he did approach three former contestants and "offered them compensation in return for information regarding the show." He said all three refused and that he never paid for any advance information he revealed about the program.
On June 1, the producers filed court papers saying they sought to dismiss the suit. Under terms of the agreement signed by Carbone, he can't initiate contact with the cast, crew or other employees of the program concerning any non-public details of the show.
In his website posting, Carbone said that although he will abide by the agreement, it "does not prevent me from spoiling the show, and I will continue to do so like I have for the past three years."
The new complaint, filed Dec. 21 in the same court, the producers said that beginning in September 2012, Carbone began posting details about the newest Bachelor show, which began its new series last night.
The producers said Carbone obtained confidential details about the unaired programs by contacting and soliciting information from participants, cast, crew and/or other employees of the series. Carbone did post the name of the alleged winnernamely the woman chosen by the current Bachelor Sean Loweon his blog on Nov. 26, saying the winner is Catherine Giudici of Seattle, an employee of Amazon.com Inc.