INSIDE EDITION Investigates Cheaters
Every week millions of viewers around the world tune in to the TV show Cheaters, and witness what appear to be heart-wrenching stories of infidelity as they happen.
In every episode a suspicious spouse, boyfriend or girlfriend turns to the show to learn whether their loved one is having an illicit affair
The show's private detectives follow the suspected cheaters, and when they've got the goods, the host of the show, Joey Greco, moves in for a dramatic and sometimes violent confrontation.
The show has had a successful 10-year run in syndication. Every episode begins with this seemingly sincere message: "You are about to view actual true stories, filmed live."
Bobby Goldstein is the show's executive producer. He is adamant that every episode is real.
"Are these true cases?" asked INSIDE EDITION's Chief Investigative Correspondent, Matt Meagher.
"Yes," said Goldstein.
"I'm positive," Goldstein said.
"No, it's not real at all," said Cari Wyatt. She told INSIDE EDITION she was paid $500 to appear in an episode of Cheaters when she was 19 years old. She says she was asked to pretend she was having a torrid affair with one guy while pretending she was engaged to another man.
But she says she never met either man until the day they started shooting and the whole thing was a fake.
"That whole thing was fabricated?" asked INSIDE EDITION's Matt Meagher.
"Correct, I've never been engaged," said Wyatt.
The couples caught on Cheaters aren't very discreet, apparently having affairs again and again in public places, making it an easy job for the show's detectives. In episode after episode, the couples they follow around always seem to have their romantic rendezvous right in front of a big window.
"They asked us to sit next to the windows, ham it up a little bit, be flirty and touchy, to kiss a couple of times, but we never did, we just faked it," Wyatt said.
Carl Burmeister says he was paid to play Wyatt's lover and that the entire episode was shot at the home of one of the show's producers. The program also claimed that the cheaters were under surveillance for three weeks.
"How many days were there?" asked Meagher.
"Two," Burmeister said.
Wyatt, although under the legal drinking age at the time of the taping, told INSIDE EDITION she was given alcohol in an attempt to loosen her up for the romantic scenes.
But the best-known episode of Cheaters, the episode that put the show on the map, is the one where host Joey Greco gets stabbed by an irate man caught cheating.
"So none of it was true?" Meagher asked Cassandra Terrazas.
"No," she said.
Terrazas, a Dallas hotel receptionist, says she was paid $350 for a few days work playing a woman who was caught having an affair.
She was told the confrontation would take place on a lake located in Dallas.
"It was all set up. They just rented a boat for us and we were supposed to be out like we were fishing and I was supposed to be sunbathing, then they were going to come up on another boat and catch us," she said.
As typically happens on the program, the host, Joey Greco, lectured the people caught cheating on the immorality of infidelity. But on this occasion, a fight broke out, and it appeared Greco was stabbed in the stomach by Terrazas's supposed boyfriend.
The young man was restrained and Greco, blood gushing from his wound, was rushed back to shore where paramedics fought to save his life.
A police car sped away and the viewer was led to believe the knife-wielding cheater had been arrested by the Rowlett police department.
But according to the police in Rowlett, Texas, that never happened. "There were no arrests at all during that time period for that type of crime," said John Ellison of the Rowlett Police Department.
According to Terrazas, the ambulance was rented, the blood was fake, and everything was scripted right down to the person falling off the boat.
"You're positive he had not been stabbed?" asked Meagher.
"Yes. I'm 100 per cent sure he was not harmed at all in any way," Terrazas confirmed.
INSIDE EDITION wanted to ask Joey Greco about the stabbing. He did not return our calls, so Matt Meagher caught up with him last fall on the street as he was walking his dog.
Meagher: "Almost every episode we've looked at appears to be fake."
Greco: "I realize that's your opinion."
Meagher: "Can you give us any direction to the hospital, the police department, or a court where we can find any record of that stabbing?"
Greco: It was in the area, I can't. I was kind of occupied at the moment."
Meagher: "Was the blood the viewer sees gushing from your shirt and on your hands, was that fake blood?"
Greco: "Matt, I appreciate your time and attention but I've already stated that I can't continue."
Meagher: "You can't say whether that was fake blood?"
Greco: "I appreciate your time and attention."
Executive Producer Bobby Goldstein still maintains the episode was authentic.
Meagher: "The whole thing was faked, wasn't it?"
Meagher: "We have two people, on the record, directly involved in the scenario, who have told us everything was faked."
Goldstein: "That's a surprise to me, and that is the first I've ever heard that. It was represented to me that this incident actually occurred."
Meagher: "You represent in that episode that the young man was arrested and taken away by the Rowlett Police department?"
Goldstein: "I think so."
Meagher: "It never happened."
Goldstein: "I don't know that to be so."
Meagher: "Did you visit him in the hospital?"
Goldstein: "I think I did."
Meagher: "What hospital did he go to?"
Goldstein: "Matt, I don't remember all this. But I can't agree with you that it didn't happen."
Meagher: "If the host of my television show was stabbed and I visited him in the hospital, I would remember."
Goldstein: "Listen, I visited Joey. My recollection is that he was very pale, very frail, very scared, but very courageous. But let me say this, if it was all poppycock, it sure did good in the ratings."