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Five Orphaned Siblings Sue 'Makeover' Show

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  • Five Orphaned Siblings Sue 'Makeover' Show

    I remember seeing this episode...I can't remember if this was the one talked about on here.... Thought I would share.... Wish I had more info before I judged....


    Five Orphaned Siblings Sue 'Makeover' Show
    Complaint Alleges Fraud and Breach of Contract


    ABCProducers of 'Extreme Makeover' learned of the orphans' plight -- both parents died 10 weeks apart -- from a television newscast.



    LOS ANGELES (Aug. 11) - Five orphaned siblings who received gifts and a new dream home on the hit ABC television show "Extreme Makeover, Home Edition" are suing the network, the company that built the house and the couple who took them in after their parents died.

    The lawsuit is rooted in a falling out between the children - who range in age from 15 to 22 - and the couple, Phil and Loki Leomiti. The children ultimately moved out of the Leomitis' home in Santa Fe Springs, a small city southeast of Los Angeles, and are living separately with friends, said Charles Higgins II, the eldest sibling.

    Their complaint, which was filed Wednesday, alleges fraud and breach of contract.

    "What we're really seeing is the collision between reality TV and the perception reality TV seeks to create in the minds of the general public," said Patrick Mesisca, the Higginses' lawyer.

    ABC said it does not comment on litigation and referred queries to the production companies.

    The network, however, said in a statement that "It is important to note that the episode was about the rebuilding of the Leomiti family's existing home to accommodate the inclusion of the five Higgins siblings, whom the Leomitis had invited into their lives following the death of their parents."

    People who answered the phone at the Leomitis' home initially said the couple had no comment and later referred questions to ABC and to Endemol USA, the television show's production company.

    Endemol publicist Melissa Armstrong said the company had not yet reviewed the claim.

    The parents of the Higgins children died 10 weeks apart in the spring of 2004 - the mother of breast cancer and the father of heart failure. The Leomitis, who knew the children from church, took them in to their home in July 2004, according to the lawsuit.

    Producers of "Extreme Makeover" learned of the children's plight from a television newscast.

    Workers demolished the Leomitis' house in February. Pardee Homes replaced it with a 9-bedroom mansion, and show producers arranged for the siblings to receive cars, groceries, computers, stereos, and other gifts.

    Pardee paid off the mortgage on the new house but the Leomitis retained the title, according to the lawsuit.

    But around the time that the episode first aired in late March, the Higginses moved out. Their lawsuit alleges that the Leomitis engaged in "an orchestrated campaign" to drive them away by insulting them and treating them poorly.

    "We were promised a home," said Charles Higgins II. "They broke that promise."

    Mesisca, the attorney, acknowledged Wednesday that the siblings were never promised a house in writing. But the network's statements and actions could legally be considered a promise, he said.

    The suit seeks unspecified compensatory and punitive damages.


    08/11/05 10:00 EDT
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  • #2
    just one more reason I hate reality tv...cept cops of course....no wait I hate that show the most
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    • #3
      They should be suing the family that took them in, not ABC. How was ABC to know that these church going people would turn out to be greedy, two-faced jerks.

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      • #4
        I saw that show and I totally thought the house belonged to the kids. They did that stain glass ceiling for their parents and the mortage was handed to them to throw in the fireplace.

        If it was built for their "caregivers" and not for the kids then that's wrong. Someone somewhere screwed up, because the kids are left with nothing. Everyone profits from the show but them.

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        • #5
          Originally posted by cst.sb
          I saw that show and I totally thought the house belonged to the kids. They did that stain glass ceiling for their parents and the mortage was handed to them to throw in the fireplace.

          If it was built for their "caregivers" and not for the kids then that's wrong. Someone somewhere screwed up, because the kids are left with nothing. Everyone profits from the show but them.
          I think ABC thought that when the kids got to a certain age, the house would be theirs and the family would give it to them. I guess they didn't realize there are greedy people in the world.

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          • #6
            Originally posted by Praetorian
            They should be suing the family that took them in, not ABC. How was ABC to know that these church going people would turn out to be greedy, two-faced jerks.

            Maybe it's the other way around. Perhaps the kids became spoiled brats and wanted more since they didn't have to rely on the family. Maybe the adult children can move the heck out and go about thier own lives.

            TGY
            Disclaimer: The writer does not represent any organization, employer, entity or other individual. The views expressed are those only of the writer. In the case of a sarcastic, facetious, nonsensical, stirring-the-pot, controversial or devil's advocate-type post, the views expressed may not even reflect those of the writer [This sig stolen from Brickcop who stole it from Frank Booth].

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            • #7
              Originally posted by That Guy
              Maybe it's the other way around. Perhaps the kids became spoiled brats and wanted more since they didn't have to rely on the family. Maybe the adult children can move the heck out and go about thier own lives.

              TGY
              That is plausible, too.

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              • #8
                I thought suing in America is a way of life, and income, for some of the population....especially for the stupid ones who cause their own troubles, like the broad who sued McDonald's over the hot coffee and so on.

                People like this are the reason for stupid labels on things we buy-my hair dryer says not to use it while bathing-oh, now that's good to know-I got really long hair-think of the time I could save getting ready for work, if I could dry it while I was cleaning up!!! Damn, now I'd better not!

                My curling iron also came with stupid warnings too, don't remember them, but I know a couple were warnings that it gets hot and to keep it away from eyes...

                Only in America!!

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                • #9
                  Originally posted by lt93lover
                  I thought suing in America is a way of life, and income, for some of the population....especially for the stupid ones who cause their own troubles, like the broad who sued McDonald's over the hot coffee and so on.

                  People like this are the reason for stupid labels on things we buy-my hair dryer says not to use it while bathing-oh, now that's good to know-I got really long hair-think of the time I could save getting ready for work, if I could dry it while I was cleaning up!!! Damn, now I'd better not!

                  My curling iron also came with stupid warnings too, don't remember them, but I know a couple were warnings that it gets hot and to keep it away from eyes...

                  Only in America!!

                  I find this post offensive. I'm suing for emotional damages...please forward 7.6 million dollars or you will be hearing from my attorney.
                  Disclaimer: The writer does not represent any organization, employer, entity or other individual. The first amendment protected views/commentary/opinions/satire expressed are those only of the writer. In the case of a sarcastic, facetious, nonsensical, stirring-the-pot, controversial or devil's advocate-type post, the views expressed may not even reflect those of the writer.

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                  • #10
                    LOL-only if you cut me in.....

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                    • #11
                      We'll have to make it a "Class action", since it offended so many of us...
                      Do you realize that in about 40 years, we'll have thousands of old ladies running around with tattoos?
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                      • #12
                        Better up the damages then....

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                        • #13
                          ok so just to be clear- this couple took them in- there house was torn down and the new one built in its place?
                          i think its just a messed up situation- someone did not think very hard- of course it wouldnt be the kids house- i feel bad for the kids but were they expecting to live in the couple's house forever? yes, they built it because of the kids but i keep going back to it was the couple that took them in- i dont think they did it on purpose or expected any of that to happen- i imagine the kids acted as though the house was theirs and that was an issue

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