Every week, millions of viewers watch the hit reality show Cheaters to see people committing acts of infidelity.
Looking at the show, you'd think the people apparently cheating on their spouses or lovers would show a little more discretion, but on the show they're often caught in the most public places. When Cheaters has enough of the gotcha video, the host, Clark Gable II - yes he's the grandson of the famous actor Clark Gable - approaches the cheaters for the dramatic and sometimes outrageous confrontation.
The show's producers declare at the very beginning of every show that it's all real. You can hear the show’s announcer stating: "You are about to view actual true stories, filmed live."
But is it? We decided to investigate Cheaters and found that the show may be doing a bit of cheating of its own.
In one episode, a guy named Cody learns his "girlfriend" of three years is cheating on him with, of all people, his own cousin, Robby. What ensues is a violent confrontation. The two cousins appear to be mortal enemies fighting over the same girlfriend, but we found a very different story.
INSIDE EDITION’s Lisa Guerrero asked Cody, “Did you ever date her?”
“No,” replied Cody.
Guerrero asked Robby, “Did you ever date her?”
“No,” answer Robby.
“So this is completely fake?” asked Guerrero.
“Completely,” said Robby.
Cody told Guerrero how the entire fight was choreographed beforehand. “We bust in the back (of the house), we go around the side and this is where I say, ‘Honey, I'm home.’ She dives off him and leaves me the prefect angle just to boom.”
Cody's cousin gets caught up in the sheets; the pummeling is non-stop. “So, I'm on top of him hitting him and I'm whispering to him, ‘get out of the sheets,’ I'm like boom, boom, boom, Robby get out of the sheets,” explained Cody.
The action spills into the yard. They say the producers then had Robby run up a ladder to the roof of the garage to escape his cousin's wrath.
Guerrero asked, “So, did you guys know ahead of time that the ladder was going to be here and you were going to go up the ladder?”
“Definitely,” said Robby.
“So, that was pre-planned?” asked Guerrero.
Cody confirmed, “Definitely. So, they said once he was up there, they said go crazy on him.”
And Cody did, throwing a garbage pail and spraying his cousin with a handy water hose. In the middle of all the action, Clark Gable II tries to interview the combatants.
“How long has this been going on?”
“Six months,” answers the woman in the middle of the scene.
Guerrero asked the cousins, “Clark Gable is the host. Was he in on it, did he know all this was fake?”
“Yeah, him and the producer are all putting it together while we are here,” Cody responded.
INSIDE EDITION caught up with Clark Gable II in Dallas where Cheaters is based. He tells Guerrero, “Frankly my dear, I don't give a damn and Cheaters is 100% real.”
“Clark, we've spoken to two people that say that Cheaters is staged and you're in on it. How do you respond?” asked Guerrero.
“My response to that is that they are saying what they've been told to say by somebody. That sounds to me that it’s a fabrication of what they experienced that night,” replied Gable.
“So, these are real stories, where real couples are facing situations of cheating?” asked Guerrero.
“Absolutely,” answered Gable.
“So, they aren't actors?” she asked.
“They aren't actors. These are 110% real people,” Gable confirmed.
We found other instances of apparent fakery on Cheaters. In one episode a young woman finds out her boyfriend, a drummer, is cheating on her and confronts him during a rehearsal. But according to the owner of this recording studio, it was all faked. He says he actually overheard the planning of the episode on his building's extensive security system.
Guerrero asked, “What did you hear on your security audio?”
“I hear one of the directors coaching the female actor, the person who was being cheated on what to say and what to do,” said the studio owner.
The show's creator and executive producer is Bobby Goldstein, who insists all the stories on Cheaters are true.
Guerrero asked Goldstein, “We've been watching the show and it has come to our attention in several of the episodes these are not real people in real relationships. They are people who have in fact been coached and the fights have been choreographed and it's fake. What do you have to say to that?”
“Nothing,” he replied.
“You don't care that your show's fake?” she asked.
“I care, but there is nothing I can say,” Goldstein replied.
“Do you owe the audience the truth?” asked Guerrero.
“I owe my audience 43 minutes of entertaining amusement on a subject matter that's important to them, and that's what I owe them,” he stated.
Guerrero asked Cody and Robby, “Do you guys feel like you cheated the viewers of Cheaters by faking this?”
Cody answered, “No, because we put on such a good show. The majority of the people don't realize that it was fake.”