Skip to comments.Extreme' tragedy - Ugly Mom Sues ABC
Posted on 09/18/2005 3:54:53 PM PDT by Hildy
LOS ANGELES - The producers of "Extreme Makeover" promised Deleese Williams "a Cinderella-like" fix for a deformed jaw, crooked teeth, droopy eyes and tiny boobs that would "transform her life and destiny." But when the ABC reality show dumped the Texas mom the night before the life-changing plastic surgeries, it shattered her family's dream and triggered her sister Kellie McGee's suicide, says a bombshell lawsuit filed in L.A. Superior Court.
As part of the premakeover hype, producers coaxed McGee and other family members to trash Williams' looks on videotape, the suit alleges. When they suddenly pulled the plug on the project, and the promised "Hollywood smile like Cindy Crawford," a guilt-ridden McGee fell apart.
"Kellie could not live with the fact that she had said horrible things that hurt her sister. She fell to pieces. Four months later, she ended her life with an overdose of pills, alcohol and cocaine," said Wesley Cordova, a lawyer for Williams.
"This family is shredded. There is a human cost to this," Cordova said.
Williams, 30, and her husband, Mike, are raising McGee's two children, along with two kids of their own. The suit seeks unspecified money damages for breach of contract, intentional infliction of emotional distress and other offenses.
"Deleese is so hurt and humiliated, she won't leave the house now. She grocery shops at midnight," Cordova says.
ABC declined to comment on the allegations.
The show announcing Williams' selection for a mega makeover had already aired on Jan. 7, 2004, when the producers abruptly dropped her because the dental surgeon told them her recovery time would be longer than expected, Cordova said.
Williams was alone in a Los Angeles hotel room reading her pre-op instructions when a producer showed up and dashed her dream of a new life with a "pretty" face, the suit alleges.
"You will not be getting an extreme makeover after all. . . . Nothing. It doesn't fit in our time frame. You will have to go back to Texas tomorrow," the suit alleges she was coldly told.
Williams broke down sobbing: "How can I go back as ugly as I left? I was supposed to come home pretty," the suit says.
The 31-page complaint begins with the line "Deleese Williams is considered ugly."
It details a horrendous tale of pain and humiliation that began when she applied for the reality show in December 2003 and had to submit a "full body shot" video showing "all of the body parts that need help."
For years, Williams' friends and family "didn't notice or pretended not to notice" her homely looks, but once she got picked for the show, they were coached to focus on nothing but her physical flaws, the suit says.
In McGee's taped interview, she tried to play up her sister's good points. But the hard-nosed producers "peppered Kellie with questions about her childhood with the ugly Deleese . . . and repeatedly put words in her mouth," the suit says.
To please the producers, Williams' mother-in-law also laid it on thick. "She said things like 'I never believed my son would marry such an ugly woman.' " Cordova says.
The family's comments never aired on TV, but Williams, who was in an adjoining room, heard them all.
The experience ruined her family life.
"Now that she returned in the same condition in which she left, there were no secrets, no hidden feelings, no reward," the suit says.
McGee's "guilt was overwhelming." She OD'd on May 25, 2004, four months after the show's producers sent her sister packing.
"These programs are cheap to produce - there are no actors or screenwriters to pay. But there is a very high human cost," Cordova said.
That is what a sister does? For 36 years I've wished I had one. Now I'm glad I don't.
Horribly insensitive, the liberal way.
Maybe she'll tell her story on Jerry Springer.....
There's only so much plastic surgeons can do, you know, when Ms. Ugly is in need of a full body and head transplant.
I'm really sick of these shows. They're foul, and blowups like these are inevitable, considering how emotionally fragile the people likely to go on such shows are anyway.
Did you even read the article? Because I can't imagine you writing something so stupid if you had actually read what happened.
Hopefully she'll become the new owner of ABC and put on some decent programming.
And yet every single one of us knows or has known someone that may have not been attractive at first meeting but as we got to know them became damn attractive because of their personality and attitude about life. Where is the TV show for these people?
The show might very well have been cold and abrupt to her, but she is not entitled to anything just because they changed their minds.
I agree that it was not nice, but God help us if that is how far our lawsuit happy country has gone.
And I HIGHLY doubt that her sister killed herself over this. Come on. And if she did, she had problems waaaaay before her sister came back.
"She fell to pieces. Four months later, she ended her life with an overdose of pills, alcohol and cocaine..."
I agree, but she needs to realize that her sister had issues way before this... You don't just suddenly use a bunch of cocaine one night and chase it back with alcohol... There had to be some serious use going on well before the night she died...
Well, I've seen just as many helped. Women who were so attractive they would frighten little children made to be attractive. I see nothing wrong with it. However, I do see something wrong with the way ABC handled this.
That's probably very true. I still hope ABC loses this one.
Surprise! ABC and show buisness types are really scumbags who shouldn't be trusted. Who woulda thought?
How many suicidal people up and go out and buy coke to commit suicide.
I think she must have had a drug problem before this...and most likely being a coke head had more to do with the suicide than anything else.
However I think the lady should get something if she actually took time out to fly to where the show was gonna get taped...but maybe the contract (assuming there was one) gave the show the right to cancel at any time.
You can have mine.
If every sister who ever said something mean to another sister felt compelled to commit suicide, there would be none of us left.
Really...the next time I see a TV show telling me how evil capitalists are ... well...what can you say.
But it makes for great "reality television."
Okay, but you have to take my brother in trade. Think long and hard before you accept that one.
I agree, these networks need to start realizing that the people's lives that they are messing with, are people's lives that they are messing with...
I get that, I have two daughters. At the age of these women though it surpasses childish nastiness and becomes horrid.
These shows really are garbage.
Honestly, if this lady choose to be on there then the family might as well has just went crazy making fun of her anyway.
With all the editing and manipulating they do, if they couldn't get you to say momma was butt ugly...they'd get a snip of you looking up at the ceiling and make you roll your eyes after they asked if you thought momma was pretty.
Theres no winning.
The only winners are those that don't watch these shows.
I hate reality TV....honestly the only reason I ever watch is to see the people cry.
ABC..hoist in their own petard......:)
Let's say you're poor or struggling...and you're butt ugly to boot. You see the amazing things they do (and they truly do amazing thing to these women) and you figure what the heck...I see nothing wrong with it. Of course ABC has the right to cancel out on the whole thing...however, there's always a price to pay because these are real people with real lives.
What's pure bull?
The dead women had more going on than just trashing her sister's looks.
The media is just another snake in the grass. Some people lack the street-smarts to see that. It's a rough and tumble world, folks, and the media are NEVER your friend.
Hey now, I'm looking to reduce in number, not replace the model!
I said hateful things about my sister.
Hmmm. Now I feel bad.
I think I'll just go to my cabinet over the sink and OVERDOSE on my cocaine (which, or course, is only for recreational uses)
Unfortunately, American jurisprudence doesn't work that way. Unless, of course, the (deceased) sister was able to get ABC to sign the contract promising to pay (deceased) sister for saying bad things)...
Why can't I get clients like these????
That's ridiculous...of course it's not just about looks...but that's what this show is. I've seen it. These are people who love the person getting the makeover.
Granted, she has a very small chin, but I don't think she looks that bad.
Sisters are notorious for being brutally honest, no matter how old we get!
They emphasize all the wrong values, and think of how many lives they've affected indirectly by making people feel they need to be perfect physically to be happy.
I always wanted one, too, until I ran into multiple pairs of sisters who didn't talk to each other or had equally dysfunctional relationships. Now, I have two girls (and maybe another one on the way) and I am so nervous about how they are going to get along in the future!
My 2 sisters and I get along great most of the time...best friends in a lot of ways. We are lucky though.
"What's pure bull?"
If you can't figure it out, I can't help you.
Hard to tell but she doesn't look that bad!
And there you have it, why ABC was so wrong and unethical in this instance. We can do what we want to the "Simpsons" or "Family Guy", Even "Desperate Housewives" and no harm done, because they are NOT real.
I hope this is the end of reality TV.
Why so coy? Hildy's question was legitimate.
We have a lot of Iraq war Vets who have been permanently disfigured and who are much more deserving of help. I can't pity this woman too much just because she thinks bigger boobs are going to change her life for the better.