Perhaps another instance of “when keeping it real goes wrong,” media powerhouse Viacom is being sued by a Georgia family for showing the dead body of their loved one during an episode of T.I.’s MTV show “Road To Redemption.”
In 2009, MTV aired an episode in which T.I. accompanied a young man to the Haugabrooks Funeral Home in downtown Atlanta to pay respects to his recently deceased friend, Joseph Williams. It appears that no one cleared the filming with Williams’ family and shortly thereafter a suit was filed with a number of claims including violation of likeness, negligent misrepresentations of the deceased, and invasion of privacy.
After being stuck in red tape and years of litigation, the case has finally come to see the light of day.
On June 29, Viacom rejected a settlement that called “for an amount that, even after deducting from the $5 million policy limit the extensive defense costs incurred during more than three years of litigation, was within the $5 million policy limit of the Insurance Policy,” according to a statement obtained by The Hollywood Reporter.
Though having an insurance policy in place to cover up to $3 million for “Each Loss,” Viacom says that the Williams’ family filed multiple charges and the company in turn suffered repeated losses, with each having high costs.
Ironically, T.I. and his affiliated companies were not mentioned in the suit despite starring in the show and serving as an executive producer.