Perhaps Farrah Abraham has grown accustomed to faking it on camera, which is why she thought it would be no biggie to lie about being in a relationship for a reality show about being in a relationship. Apparently, she was right, because the producers of VH1's Couples Therapy found out about her scheme before filming began, but kept her on the show anyway.
Abraham was supposed to film Couples Therapy with her supposed boyfriend of five months, Brian Dawe. According to what aired on the show's premiere last night, just before filming began, Dawe mysteriously stopped responding to Abraham's calls and texts and stopped communicating with the producers as well. Abraham claimed he did that on purpose to hurt her, and gave a truly bizarre, whispery performance of attempted tears to explain her situation to the other couples. Dr. Jenn Berman, the therapist on the show, decided to allow Abraham to stay in therapy solo, to work on her relationship issues alone.
What really went down, according to Dawe, is that Abraham had concocted a plan to be cast on Couples Therapy, enlisting him to play the part of her boyfriend.
I was approached by Farrah Abraham to be in a "pretend relationship" with her so that she could be on a television show. Farrah got my number from my agent, who was also booking events and appearances for her. I went along with it originally because the network offered to pay me a substantial amount of money. Farrah told me to lie to the network and tell them the relationship was real. I hesitated, but reluctantly went along with it initially.
He met Abraham in early October (about three weeks before Couples Therapy began filming) when she was scheduled to host a party at a nightclub in Florida where he was DJing. She then arranged to have paparazzi photos taken of them embracing in a park that she sold to a news agency.
But while waiting on the security line for his flight out to L.A. to film the show, Dawe got cold feet, shot an email off to producers letting them know that the relationship was a sham, and went home. But the producers didn't care. They offered him double his original fee to appear on the show, but he declined.
You see, Abraham was supposed to appear on the previous season of Couples Therapy with a different fake boyfriend, Gossip Girl and Modern Family actor Carson Underwood.
Carson says he met with a number of people via Skype about doing the show and that he was very up front about the fact the two of them weren't actually dating and had in fact only met once. "I told them that we'd met one time and I thought she'd need therapy as she's expressing qualities that a person with PTSD would have," he confides.
According to Carson, Farrah had told producers she was dating someone when she was originally approached before contacting him in February, "which was a lie," he says.
That deal fell through, but apparently not because of Abraham falsifying a relationship. According to Dawe, producers weren't concerned about that:
Like I said, the producers knew this relationship was fake. I notified them that it was not real before taping began. I really hope that the producers didn't tell Dr. Jenn Berman they had this knowledge, and if they did inform her then there are some serious ethical issues with that situation.
Serious ethical issues, indeed. In the show's first episode, Dr. Jenn says:
Farrah represents a unique phenomenon that I'm seeing with celebrities today: teenagers whose lives play out as drama on national television. This kind of media attention can have a profound affect on the human being at the center of it all.
That is undoubtedly true. Abraham's involvement with reality television at such a young age has evidently led to severe issues regarding her understanding of what reality even means, what with her whole fake leaked sex tape scandal and all the lies that went with it. But for Dr. Jenn to say that she wants to help this girl who has been damaged by her life playing out on national television by giving her therapy on national television—it's disturbing.
It feels so slimy and exploitative, that it kind of makes Abraham's scheme to get one over on the producers seem less crazy and almost commendable.