Saar Sheinfain
Photo: Ronen Akerman

Reality contestants given drugs?

Contestants of Israeli version of 'Big Brother' blame production for manipulating them with unnecessary, harmful psychiatric drugs. Show denies allegations

Saar Sheinfain, a finalist on the Israeli version of reality show "Big Brother", is filing a NIS 2.5 million (about $650,000) lawsuit against the show's production company "Kuperman Productions," for allegedly forcing harmful psychiatric drugs on the contestants for ratings purposes. Sheinfein claims he holds evidence to back his allegations.


Sheinfain claims that the picture depicted by the production company for the audience is far from reality. The contestants, said Sheinfain, are helpless and are being manipulated by the producers with psychiatric drugs.


"If it was up to me, you wouldn't have seen what you've seen. You saw a man who was drugged, imprisoned and manipulated… a depressed puppet," he stated.


According to the allegations, "Big Brother" contestants were given psychiatric pills during their stint on the show. Five more contestants are expected to support these allegations.


The contestants revealed that the show's psychiatrist, Dr. Ilan Rabinovich, approached them a few days before entering the house, and persuaded them to take pills to make them feel more calm and energetic during the show.


Some contestants said they were placed under a lot of pressure to take the pills against their will. One contestant claimed that the psychiatrist forced him to take the pill, telling him he would be kicked off the show if he refused.


The contestant said the pills were given on a daily basis, causing side effects such as depression. "I felt like I was in a mental institution."


In addition, many of the contestants revealed that under the effect of the pills they were asked by Dr. Rabinovich to act in certain ways, against their own will. One participant said that Dr. Rabinovich asked him to touch another contestant because "they would make a beautiful couple," and continued to pressure him although the participant said he had a girlfriend.


Channel 2 franchisee Keshet and the production company denied the allegations, calling them baseless and claiming that the psychiatric care given to the contestants was for their own welfare and with their consent.


According to the production, "Dr. Rabinovich is an acclaimed and experienced psychiatrist, and acted as an autonomous authority over the contestants' well being."


Dr. Rabinovich stated in response that the allegations were an extortion attempt, claiming that Sheinfain's treatment was meant to help him with severe mental problems, and was done with full confidentiality.



פרסום ראשון: 03.08.12, 15:13
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