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Last Updated: Tuesday, 20 September 2005, 11:46 GMT 12:46 UK
TV show sued after sister's death
A woman is suing hit US TV show Extreme Makeover for $1m (554,000), claiming its decision to cancel her appearance contributed to her sister's suicide.

Deleese Williams, from Conroe, Texas, had been due to appear on the ABC show.

She claims a TV crew tricked her sister Kellie McGee into making cruel remarks about her looks before the makeover.

ABC cancelled the appearance, saying her jaw would take too long to heal, and her sister was left distraught about making the remarks, she claims.

'Hollywood smile'

Extreme Makeover follows people having drastic plastic surgery and Mrs Williams was due to have work on her teeth, eyes and breasts.

Her legal action said "Deleese Williams is considered ugly" and said a doctor promised her "a Hollywood smile like Cindy Crawford".

Programme-makers visited the contestant's family in Texas before the makeover was due to start in January 2004.

The legal action claims they manipulated Ms McGee into saying unkind things about her sister's looks on camera.

But the contestant was told hours before the makeover was due to begin that it had been cancelled.

When she returned home from Los Angeles unchanged, Ms McGee became so upset over what she had said that she killed herself, the legal action states.

"Sometimes Deleese blames herself for Kellie's death," it says. ABC was unavailable for comment.

TV tragedies

It is not the first reality show to be linked with tragedy.

In February, 23-year-old Najai Turpin, a young boxer who was taking part in The Contender, shot himself.

In July, Carina Stephenson hanged herself after filming The Colony with her family in the Australian outback. Her mother has since blamed her death on suicide websites.

Sinisa Savija, a contestant on Expedition Robinson, a Swedish show that was the prototype for Survivor, stepped in front of a train after becoming the first person voted off the contest in 1997.

In 2002, Ralf Panitz was convicted of beating his ex-wife to death hours after they appeared on an episode of the Jerry Springer show.

And in 1995, a guest on The Jenny Jones Show murdered another who revealed his homosexual "secret crush" on TV.



SEE ALSO:
Surgery show to get UK makeover
17 Aug 04 |  Entertainment
Doctors slam plastic surgery TV
11 May 04 |  Entertainment
The stigma of plastic surgery
13 Jan 04 |  Magazine


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